As It Happens

Son defends Canadian parents detained as spies in China

Their family says they're just Canadian coffee shop owners --  serving up espresso, western food, and conversation in the Chinese border city of Dandong. But the Chinese government says Kevin and Julia Garratt were up to something much more sinister.  ...

Their family says they're just Canadian coffee shop owners --  serving up espresso, western food, and conversation in the Chinese border city of Dandong. But the Chinese government says Kevin and Julia Garratt were up to something much more sinister.  

Authorities have detained the couple and put them under investigation for the theft of military and intelligence information, and endangering national security. 

Peter Garratt is the couple's son. Today, he was taken in for questioning, and warned against talking to the media.

My phone is being watched and probably my texts...that's all so they can gather info about the case.

Mr. Garratt decided to speak to us to defend his parents against charges that he says are "ridiculous." Some suggest that their arrest has less to do with state secrets, and more with the couple's openly Christian faith. 

LOGO3.pngHe told As It Happens guest host Laura Lynch that they did keep a Bible in the cafe, But, his parents didn't go out of their way to spread the faith.

He says, "My parents are Christians, yes, and they don't hide that. But they're not doing anything against the Chinese government or trying to proselytise or anything like that."

Mr. Garratt says he was told his parents are being held at an undisclosed location in Dandong. On Wednesday, he will be allowed to speak to his parents by phone, but forbidden from talking about the investigation.

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