Chinese-born Australian writer Yang Hengjun, according to the Australian Foreign Ministry, is being held in "unacceptable conditions" in the People's Republic. "His prison conditions include increased isolation from the outside world and the resumption of daily interrogations," said Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne. Yang is partly tied up.
Australia asked for a statement of allegations and demanded that Yang be treated in accordance with international standards and access to his lawyers and family, Payne said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison joined the critics. Australia is always strong for its citizens, he told journalists. The government in Canberra has been complaining about Yang's imprisonment "for some time". Now they want to see clear evidence of the allegations against Yang.
The 54-year-old is known in China as a democracy activist, novelist and blogger. He regularly comments on Chinese politics, sometimes criticizing the Communist Party. Before Yang accepted Australian citizenship, he worked in the Chinese Foreign Ministry. In between, he lived in Hong Kong and worked for the Atlantic Council in the US. China does not recognize its dual citizenship.
In January, Yang was arrested on his arrival in China and officially arrested in August for spying. Espionage is punishable by death in China. The Beijing government has urged Australia not to interfere.