Australia condemns China’s legal proceedings against detained writer Yang Hengjun


Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne has pointed out the lack of transparency of the Chinese Communist Party regarding the imminent private trial of Australian writer Yang Hengjun, who has been detained in China since January 2019.

She showed that Beijing did not comply with the basic standards of international norms of transparency and called on the Communist Party administration to grant legal and consular access to Yang before the May 27 trial.

“Since his detention, Dr. Yang has had no access to his family, restricted access to his legal representative, and has been delayed,” says Payne. Said in a statement May 21st.

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Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Prime Minister Scott Morrison speak to the media at a press conference in Sydney, Australia, on April 27, 2021. (AAPImage / Dan Himbrechts)

“We have clearly communicated to the Chinese authorities our concerns about Dr. Yang’s treatment and lack of procedural fairness in the way he manages his case.

“In line with the basic standards of justice and China’s international legal obligations, we expect Dr. Yang to be granted access to his lawyers and Australian Consulate officials prior to his trial. “She said.

Senator Penny Wong, the Labor Party’s shadow foreign minister, said the opposition was deeply concerned that the Chinese authorities did not provide explanations or evidence for the accusation.

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Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong will speak to the media on May 18, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia, with opposition leader Anthony Albanese. (AAP image / Daniel Pocket)

In her statement, she said, “We strongly support the government’s support for Dr. Yang, including the support of the consulate, and have not received basic justice standards or procedural fairness consistent with China’s international legal obligations. I’m particularly disappointed. “

Mr Wong also reiterated Payne’s statement that China has obligations under a bilateral consular agreement between Australia and China.

Under a consulate agreement, Australian authorities have been granted access to Yang’s hearing on May 27, but Payne said:

Since Yang’s detention, the 55-year-old blogger has had no access to his family and has restricted access to his lawyer.

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In this 2017 photo provided by the family, Yang Hengjun on the left is posing with his family in Beijing. (Yang family photo via AP)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told his family that it was “absolutely not true” that Yang acted as an Australian spy, and that he was innocent to his family and “never confessed what I wasn’t doing.” It was.

Yang’s trial was scheduled to begin in January, but was delayed by four months.

He faces long imprisonment if he is found guilty of endangering national security by joining or accepting a mission from an unidentified espionage organization.

Yang was detained by Chinese authorities at Guangzhou Airport in January 2019 after arriving from New York.

Australia has lobbied for his support and for Chen Ray, the second detained Australian journalist who has been detained on suspicion of endangering national security.

AAP contributed to this report.