Published: Wed, December 04, 2019

Australia: China's treatment of the writer is unacceptable

Australia: China's treatment of the writer is unacceptable

Australian International Minister Marise Payne stated on Monday a Chinese language-born Australian author was being held by Beijing in "unacceptable" circumstances, together with every day interrogations whereas shackled.

Yang, also a former Chinese Foreign Ministry official, was arrested in Guangzhou in January while on a stopover from the U.S. to Australia, and was detained under a kind of house arrest without his location or charges being revealed.

Beijing claims that the detainee's rights have been guaranteed and asked Australia to respect its judicial sovereignty and stop interfering with how it manages its cases. "This has not led to any substantive changes in his treatment".

Morrison said Australia wanted to see clear details of the case against Yang, and to ensure that he had access to his lawyers and family members.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the unacceptable conditions came to light during a recent visit to Dr Yang by Australian consular staff.

"We will continue to express clearly our expectations towards the Chinese authorities, both in Beijing and Canberra, including the release of Dr. Yang and the fact that he will be treated fairly and personally during his detention", she added.

"Australia always has to stand up for our citizens and we have to be true to who we are as a people".

"The last consular access was a matter of great concern to me and the Secretary of State, and we will continue to make these statements for an Australian citizen", he added.

Reuters this year reported Canberra had determined that Beijing was responsible for a cyber-attack on Australia's parliament and three largest political parties, just months out from an election.

"We have also made repeated requests for him to be afforded basic standards of justice, procedural fairness and humane treatment, in line with global norms, including access to his lawyers and to his family, both of which continue to be denied to him", Payne said.

He was detained earlier this year after flying into China from NY where he had been a visiting scholar at Columbia University for two years.

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