Home Faith China charges Canadian pastor for allegedly stealing state secrets

China charges Canadian pastor for allegedly stealing state secrets


China has accused Canadian citizen, Kevin Garratt, of spying and stealing state secrets after holding him for 18 months without charge.
An official report on Friday from Beijing said evidences form investigation, has implicated Garratt of accepting tasks from Canadian espionage agencies to gather intelligence in China.
It said the crime of stealing state secrets carries harsh punishments in China, ranging from 10 years in jail to the death penalty.
It said Garratt, a Pentecostal pastor, was indicted by prosecutors in north-east China’s Liaoning province.
The report said he would be tried in Dandong city.
It, however, said Garratt’s wife Julia was also detained in August 2014, but she was released on bail last year, according to reports.
The report disclosed that the family first came to China in 1984 and ran a translation company, a kindergarten and community centres.
It said in 2008, they moved to Dandong, a large Chinese city facing the North Korea border, where they held church services and helped deliver food and equipment to North Korean orphanages and homes for the elderly.
Meanwhile, the Canadian foreign-affairs department has raised great concern over the charges against Garratt.
It said in a statement that “the government of Canada has raised the case with the Chinese government at high levels’’.
The Hong Kong-based, China human rights lawyers, concern group, said that Garratt’s indictment came amid an ongoing crackdown on the country’s human rights activists and lawyers.
It said since last summer more than 316 human rights lawyers and activists from across China have been detained, summoned by police or have disappeared.
Swedish NGO worker Peter Dahlin was expelled from China on Monday after being detained for three weeks on suspicion of endangering national security.