Chinese language-Australian author Yang Hengjun has been formally arrested on espionage costs in China, Australian officers have confirmed.
The Australian citizen has been held in Beijing since January beneath “harsh circumstances”, stated the overseas ministry.
International Minister Marise Payne stated Australia was “very involved and dissatisfied” to be taught of the arrest.
“We have now critical issues for Dr Yang’s welfare, and in regards to the circumstances beneath which he’s being been held,” she stated.
Australia has repeatedly urged China to launch Dr Yang, who had been held with out cost for greater than seven months.
He was formally charged on 23 August, Ms Payne stated.
“If Dr Yang is being held for his political opinions, he ought to be launched,” Ms Payne stated in a strongly worded assertion on Tuesday.
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“I’ll proceed to advocate strongly on behalf of Dr Yang to make sure a passable clarification of the idea for his arrest, that he’s handled humanely and that he’s allowed to return residence.”
Earlier than his detention, Mr Yang, a former Chinese language diplomat and writer, wrote a well-liked Chinese language-language weblog on present affairs in China and worldwide relations.
He was lively on Chinese language social media and Twitter, the place he has greater than 130,000 followers.
The New York-based author had travelled to China in January along with his spouse Yuan Ruijuan and her baby – each Chinese language residents – when he was detained on the airport.
China has held him for alleged “involvement in felony actions endangering China’s nationwide safety” ever since.
In that point he had additionally not been allowed entry to his legal professionals or household visits, Australia stated.
Solely Australian embassy officers have been allowed entry to him, and had visited him seven instances.
A go to had been authorised for at the moment, Ms Payne confirmed.