World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Arrest of Dr Yang Hengjun in China

Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Minister for Women
Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Arrest of Dr Yang
Statement
27 August 2019

The Government is very concerned and disappointed to learn that Australian citizen and academic Dr Yang Hengjun (Dr Yang Jun) was formally arrested in China on suspicion of espionage on 23 August and will continue to be criminally detained. Our thoughts are with Dr Yang and his family at this very difficult time.

Dr Yang has been held in Beijing in harsh conditions without charge for more than seven months. Since that time, China has not explained the reasons for Dr Yang's detention, nor has it allowed him access to his lawyers or family visits.

I have discussed this twice with China's Foreign Minister, State Councilor Wang Yi, and have written to him three times, stating my concerns, and those of the Australian government and people. We have serious concerns for Dr Yang's welfare, and about the conditions under which he is being held. We have expressed these in clear terms to the Chinese authorities.

It is important, and we expect, that basic standards of justice and procedural fairness are met. I respectfully reiterate my previous requests that if Dr Yang is being held for his political beliefs, he should be released.

We expect Dr Yang to be treated in accordance with international human rights law, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with special attention to those provisions that prohibit torture and inhumane treatment, guard against arbitrary detention and that protect the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Australian Embassy officials have visited Dr Yang seven times since his detention, most recently on 25 July, in accordance with our Bilateral Consular Agreement with China. We expect this to continue for the duration of Dr Yang's detention, and have a visit approved for today, Tuesday 27 August.

I will continue to advocate strongly on behalf of Dr Yang to ensure a satisfactory explanation of the basis for his arrest, that he is treated humanely and that he is allowed to return home.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 



OECD: G20 GDP Returns To Pre-pandemic Level In The First Quarter Of 2021, But With Large Differences Across Countries

Gross domestic product (GDP) of the G20 area returned to pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2021, growing by 0.8% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. However, this figure conceals large differences across countries... More>>

Myanmar: ‘Mass Deaths’ Alert As 100,000 Flee Junta’s Heavy Weapons

In Myanmar, international action is needed urgently to prevent “mass deaths” there, after civilians fled attacks by so-called “junta bombs”, a top independent UN rights expert has warned... More>>



UN: WHO Warns Of ‘Two-track Pandemic’ As Cases Decline But Vaccine Inequity Persists

Even though COVID-19 cases and deaths have declined in recent weeks, the world is facing a “two-track pandemic”, the UN’s top health official said on Monday in his ongoing campaign to get more vaccines to developing countries... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs



G7: No Major G7 Stock Index Aligned With Paris Climate Goals

New research by CDP and the United Nations Global Compact on behalf of the Science Based Targets initiative calls on the largest G7 companies to take ambitious climate action... More>>


Report: Universal Access To Sustainable Energy Will Remain Elusive Without Addressing Inequalities

During the last decade, a greater share of the global population gained access to electricity than ever before, but the number of people without electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa actually increased... More>>

UN: Launches Decade On Ecosystem Restoration To Counter ‘Triple Environmental Emergency’

Heads of Government, religious leaders, activists and artists joined the United Nations on Friday in a rallying cry to heal the planet, launching the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration... More>>