Australian Writer Has To Go On Trial On Charges Of Spying In China

 

 

Image Credit – Times Of India

 

An Australian academic who has been held in China for more than a couple of years on charges of spying is due to go on trial on Thursday related to a case that has fuelled a bitter row between the two nations over national security, trade, and human rights.

The trial is all set to be held behind closed doors but in comments that are shared with media, Yang Jun has maintained his innocence and vowed to face torture and suffering with resilience.

On Thursday, heavy security has been put outside the Beijing courtroom in the morning, and the area around the entrance has been cordoned off with tape and heavy umber of police are deployed.

Yang, 56, is Chinese-born and he also goes by the pen name of Yang Hengjun, and he is one of the two high-profile Australians who have been detained in China on charges of spying.

Marise Payne, the Foreign Minister of Australia on Thursday have voiced deep concerns about the handling of Yang’s case by China.

Payne spoke to media outlets where she said that they have not seen evidence or explanation for the charges that have been brought against him. She also added that she hoped that the trial is going to be transparent and the consular officials are granted access.

Graham Fletcher, the Australian ambassador has turned away from the courtroom as he arrived on Thursday.

Afterward, Fletcher spoke to the media outside the courtroom and said that this is deeply concerning, regrettable and unsatisfying.

He also added that they have had long concerns about the case as there is a lack of transparency and therefore one can conclude it to be an instance of arbitrary detention.

Shortly afterward, the courtroom was left by Fletcher. It was not very clear that the lawyer of Yang was with him.

Yang has been arrested on a rare return to China in January 2019.

According to a letter that has been shared with media outlets, Yang has said that his health had deteriorated after 26 months without sunshine and fresh air.

He also went on to say that he remained strong spiritually and also vowed to face torture and suffering with resilience.

He has also said in a message that he has got no fear and he is believed to have been dictated through lawyer and consular visitor.

In a message, Yang has said to his supporters that if the worst comes and someone wants to take revenge on him for his writings one can explain to the people inside China what he has done and the significance of his writing to the people in China.

The judicial system of China convicts most of the people who stand trial and the espionage charges will carry a sentence of life in prison.

Beijing has also insisted that the rights of Yang are respected and also accused Australia of interfering in a Chinese legal case.


      

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