UM Student Released After Being Held In China - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

UM Student Released After Being Held In China

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GREAT FALLS -

In a conference call Sunday afternoon, Senator Steve Daines announced that Guthrie McLean has been released from a China jail. 

Daines said he received an email early Sunday afternoon from Guthrie's mother Jennifer saying, "Prayer's answered. Guthrie is home."

The Senator says the release came after two days of negotiations stretching 20 hours each. Guthrie is in good condition and charges against him have been dropped.

U.S. Senator Steve Daines today released the following statement on Guthrie McLean.

“I am thrilled to report that we just received an email from Guthrie McLean’s mother that ‘prayers answered, Guthrie is home,’” Daines stated. “After days of working the phones with top Chinese and American officials to secure Guthrie’s freedom from a Chinese detention facility, he has been safely reunited with his mother.”

Daines has been working through the weekend with both the Chinese and United States Embassies, the Chinese government, local officials and McLean’s mother, Jennifer McLean, to coordinate his return home. Guthrie was reunited with mother just before 2AM local time, 12PM MST. Daines visited directly with Ambassador Cui Tiankai to urge a prompt resolution to McLean’s case.  Daines also visited with Ambassador Terry Branstad regarding McLean's case.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester released the following statement after working through diplomatic channels to help secure the release of University of Montana student Guthrie McLean:

“As a parent, there is nothing more nerve-wracking than being concerned about your child’s safety.  I am overjoyed that Guthrie is safe and sound and will be reunited with his mother.  This really is a testament to what can be accomplished when we turn up the heat and hold government accountable.”

Here is time line of Tester’s work to secure McLean’s release:

Monday

·         The University of Montana notified Senator Tester’s office that Guthrie McLean had been detained by Chinese police.

·         Within minutes, Senator Tester’s office was in touch with the State Department.

·         The State Department replied and forwarded the request along to the Consular Office in Beijing.

Tuesday

·         Senator Tester’s office followed up with the State Department and the US Embassy to check in on the case.

Wednesday

·         Senator Tester sent a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson and US Ambassador Terry Branstad demanding swift action.

·         Senator Tester’s office was in contact with Mr. McLean’s mother.

Thursday

·         Senator Tester received a reply from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing confirming they had made contact with Mr. McLean and he reported no physical or mental health concerns.  The Embassy also says it secured authorization to share information about Guthrie’s case.  The Embassy also confirmed that the police have 7 days from the time of the arrest to file charges. The embassy says it provided Mr. McLean with a list of law firms that can help him navigate the legal issues.

·         Senator Tester spoke to Ambassador Branstad.

·         Senator Tester’s office contacted Mr. McLean’s mother again.

Friday

·         Senator Tester contacted the State Department, U.S. Embassy, and Mr. McLean’s mother.

Saturday

·         Senator Tester’s office was in contact with Mr. McLean’s mother.

Sunday

·         Senator Tester’s office contacted the State Department and Mr. McLean’s mother.

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