The Australian detained in China has suffered another “disturbing” delay in sentencing

the main points:
  • The authorities in China also delayed the issuance of the verdict in the trial of detained Australian Yang Hengjun.
  • The Australian government says it continues to raise the issue of his arrest with the Chinese government.
  • This comes as Dr. Yang issued a statement on the fourth anniversary of his arrest.
Another delay in sentencing of Australian writer Yang Heng Jun was met with deep disappointment by supporters and the government.
It was Dr. Yang Four years on espionage charges, with sentencing postponed for the seventh time – until April.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Australia was “deeply troubled by the continued delays in his case”.
“Our thoughts are with Dr. Yang and his family,” she said.

“She called on the Australian government to provide basic standards of fairness, procedural fairness and humane treatment for Dr Yang, in accordance with international standards and China’s legal obligations.”

Yang Hengjun was arrested at Guangzhou Airport on January 19, 2019 while trying to visit a sick family member. Source: Twitter

Senator Wong said the government will continue to advocate for Dr. Yang’s welfare at the highest level and provide consular assistance to him and his family.

The opposition has added its voice to concerns, with foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham saying the uncertainty and delays in the case were “unacceptable and unfair”.
“During this difficult time, our thoughts remain with Dr. Yang and his family,” he said.
“While reports have indicated that Dr. Yang has been allowed consular visits, the opposition remains deeply concerned about Dr. Yang’s well-being as well as restrictions on access to legal representation.”
the It was never publicly disclosed and his trial was held in secret in May 2021.

Dr. Yang denied working as a spy and his supporters described him as political persecution because of his human rights stance.

In recent comments to friends and family, seen by SBS News, Dr Yang maintained he was innocent and said he remained confident despite being behind bars for four years.
“I’ve been gone for four years since I was put in this cell,” he said. “Four years is a long time. I came and suffered, as I thought. But I did not yield.”
He said that the support he received strengthened him, adding that he still hopes for his release and his determination to continue his work.

“It’s made me feel the sunshine here… I expect to get out of here and be able to continue my work. My case isn’t just about me. It’s about the rule of law.”

Chinese Ambassador to Australia Xiao Qian said his government cannot interfere in court cases.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Thursday that Australia should not interfere with the Chinese judicial system over the delay in sentencing Dr Yang.
“The Chinese judiciary has considered cases in strict accordance with the law, fully protects the legitimate rights of relevant parties, and fully respects and protects the consular rights of the Australian side, such as visitation,” Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing.
Dr. Yang denied working as a spy and his supporters described him as political persecution because of his human rights stance.
He was arrested at Guangzhou Airport on January 19, 2019, while trying to visit a sick family member.
In early January consular officials were granted visits to Dr. Yang Wwho was secretly tried on national security charges in March 2022, for the first time since October.

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