Bankrupt, a Hungarian band, uploaded a new song on YouTube on Thursday written for their former member, Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who was detained in December 2018 in China for espionage.
Mr Kovrig worked for the International Crisis Group, a transnational, pro-peace think tank. After being detained in December 2018, he was accused of espionage by the Chinese government in May 2019, and his arrest is thought by some press outlets to be
retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on December 1, 2018.
Kovrig’s arrest has become a recent point of contention for Canada-China relations, Wikipedia says.
Interestingly, Mr Kovrig used to be the singer of the Hungarian band, Bankrupt, in the late 1990s.
The Canadian-Hungarian citizen lived in Budapest between 1996 and 1999.
The friendship between him and the members of the band lasted even after he left the country. He visited Hungary at least once a year and, in 2017, he even performed at one of their concerts to sing an old hit song, indirekt.hu reported.
After his detention in 2018, he was
accused of espionage,
while his first court hearing took place this March behind closed doors. According to the band, Michael is not guilty, and they hope he will be free soon.
Therefore, they wrote a song to call the world’s attention to Mr Kovrig’s story. The original title was “The Plane To Toronto”. But the Hungarian version is titled “Beijing Summer”. They said that
they would send the lyrics of the song to Michael with the help of his sister, Ariana.
They hope they can make him happy for a couple of days at least.
They said that the solution is not in their hands “but the hands of the politicians”. Canadians, Americans, and even Hungarians can help since Michael is a Hungarian citizen, too. “And there are scenarios where that might help,” they added.
Interestingly, the income of the song will go to a charity organisation, Hostage International.
Here is the English version of the song:
Interestingly, based on Válasz Online, Michael Kovrig is the grandson of János Kovrig, who was one of the two war correspondents remaining to report about the 1937-1945 Sino-Japanese war. His photos and writings appeared not only in Budapest newspapers, but foreign news agencies also used them.