Hong Kong (CNN)A Canadian employee of the International Crisis Group (ICG) has reportedly been detained by Chinese security services in Beijing, the nonprofit organization said Wednesday.
Ex-Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig detained in China, employer claims
Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who is the organization's northeast Asia senior adviser, has been working with the group since February 2017, the group's statement said.
ICG alleged that Kovrig had been detained on Monday night by the Beijing Bureau of Chinese State Security, calling for the Canadian's "immediate release."
"Crisis Group has received no information about Michael since his detention and is concerned for his health and safety," their statement said.
In a press conference Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang refused to confirm or deny whether Kovrig had been detained.
"I have nothing to offer to you here. And if this is the case, please be assured that the authorities will deal with this in accordance with laws and regulations," Lu said.
But Lu added that the ICG was not registered in China under the relevant laws and therefore anyone operating in China on the NGO's behalf would be doing so illegally.
Kovrig's reported disappearance comes in the wake of Canada detaining Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer for the Chinese technology company Huawei, on December 1 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Meng could face extradition to the United States over the alleged violation of US sanctions on Iran, a move that has provoked fury in Chinese state media.
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