Detained Chinese-Australian’s supporters urge Albanese to raise case with Chinese premier

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun18,2024
Key Points
  • Yang Hengjun’s supporters want Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to demand China’s premier release the detained Australian.
  • The pro-democracy activist is languishing ill in a Chinese jail.
  • His family want Yang to be released on medical parole or transferred to Australia.
Supporters of imprisoned writer Yang Hengjun are begging Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to use his meeting with China’s premier Li Qiang to demand the Australian be released on medical parole or transferred to Australia.
The pro-democracy activist was arrested in August 2019 on suspicion of espionage and has spent more than five years in a Beijing prison.
In February he was by a Chinese court, which his supporters said has since been reviewed and upheld, with Yang to move to a permanent facility.
“Authorities have now reviewed and upheld his original suspended death sentence,” they said in a statement on Monday.

“While details are unclear, it is understood that Yang is now being moved to a permanent prison, after more than five years in a state security detention centre.”

for Australia or the United States. Before being detained, he posted comments critical of China’s government on social media.
His physical and mental health are said to be worsening in jail, with Yang told last year doctors had discovered a 10cm cyst on his kidney.
His supporters now want Albanese to push Li for an immediate resolution when the leaders meet in Canberra on Monday.

“Our most immediate concern is that Yang’s medical conditions remain serious and unaddressed. There is no transparency and we have no grounds for confidence that he is receiving adequate medical treatment,” Yang’s supporters said.

Yang Hengjun, left, and his wife Yuan Xiaoliang

Yang Hengjun (left) and his wife Yuan Xiaoliang. The pro-democracy activist has spent more than five years in a Beijing prison. Source: AAP / Chongyi Feng/AP

“For these reasons, we urge Prime Minister Albanese to use his meeting with Premier Li Qiang to directly demand that Yang be released on medical parole or otherwise be transferred to safety in Australia, in accordance with basic humanitarian principles.”

The group described Yang as “innocent” and his espionage conviction “spurious”.

“Clearly, it is not possible to achieve a stable, respectful bilateral relationship with China while their officials are threatening to execute an Australian political prisoner, without any semblance of due legal process.”

Speaking on ABC Insiders on Sunday, for Yang during Li’s visit.
“We will continue to advocate wherever we are able and we will continue to advocate for appropriate medical treatment” for Yang, Wong said when asked whether she would raise his ill health with the Chinese premier.
Speaking to the press after meeting with Li on Monday, Albanese said they had discussed Yang, but did not give details of the conversation.
“We, of course, in Australia oppose capital punishment and I reiterated our position there,” The Guardian reported Albanese as saying.

China’s second-most powerful leader declared on arrival in Adelaide on Saturday that his country’s relationship with Australia was “back on track after a period of twists and turns”.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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