Canadian citizen facing execution in China

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Canadian citizen facing execution in China

Updated Wed. Jun. 28 2006 11:21 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

A Canadian citizen faces execution after being extradited from Uzbekistan to China.

Huseyincan Celil, a 37-year-old naturalized Canadian citizen from Burlington, Ont., was sentenced to death in China for human rights work he did on behalf of the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang province.

According to reports, Celil founded a political party in China to work on behalf of the Uyghur people.

Celil was arrested in March while he and his wife were visiting her family in Uzbekistan.

On Monday morning, the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canada informed his wife that he had been extradited to China.

"It's terrible they sent him to China. I have no idea whether he's alive or dead," Kamila Celil told CTV's Canada AM on Wednesday.

Celil said she has had contact with Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay and Parliamentary Secretary Jason Kenney, but she has little reason to believe they can help.

During the four months her husband spent in prison in Uzbekistan, no foreign affairs representatives visited to speak on his behalf, Celil said.

However, according to reports, MacKay sent a diplomatic note to Uzbekistan demanding Celil's return.

The couple has three children together, and another on the way.

Celil said she spent two days in hospital after learning of the most recent development in her husband's situation.

Huseyincan Celil fled China in the mid-1990s and came to Canada in 2001 as a refugee.

The Foreign Affairs department is attempting to establish contact with China regarding Celil's status, and will reportedly demand that an official from the Canadian consulate be allowed to visit him in jail.

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