14.2 C
Munich
Monday, June 14, 2021

China rejects Australian writer’s torture claim in trial

Must read

Floyd-Paul fight Online | Mayweather vs Paul Live Stream

Mayweather vs Paul fight live stream (2021 June 06): How to watch Floyd v Paul boxing, time, channel YouTuber Logan Paul has struck a deal...

DHS nixes Trump’s ‘remain in Mexico’ policy for migrants

The Biden administration Tuesday formally ended a policy enacted by the Trump administration that forced asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for their cases...

Revisiting death of Yankees legend Lou Gehrig 80 years later

Editor’s note: The Post’s Mike Vaccaro recounts the death of Lou Gehrig — who died 80 years ago Wednesday — in his book,...

Robert Hogan, actor on ‘Peyton Place’ and ‘The Wire,’ dead at 87

Longtime TV actor Robert Hogan — best known for roles on “Peyton Place,” “Law & Order” and HBO’s “The Wire” — has died....

[ad_1]

BEIJING — A Chinese government spokesperson on Tuesday rejected an Australian writer’s complaint that he was tortured during interrogation before being put on trial on spying charges.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson also accused Australia of “unfounded provocation” after its foreign minister said Yang Hengjun’s incarceration since January 2019 was arbitrary detention.

“There is no arbitrary detention or forced confession with torture on Yang Jun,” said spokesperson Wang Wenbin, referring to Yang by the name used by Chinese officials.

“We advise the Australian side to stop finger-pointing and unfound provocation against China’s rule of law, stop hyping the issue or exerting pressures to grossly interfere with China’s judicial sovereignty,” Wang said.

The case has added to strains in Chinese-Australian relations that are at their chilliest in decades following disputes over technology, security and the coronavirus.

Yang, a crime novelist and blogger, said he asked the judge ahead of his trial last week to exclude records of his interrogation because he was tortured, according to a copy of his account seen by The Associated Press.

Australian ambassador to China Graham Fletcher, right, speaks to reporters near a barricade tape outside the No. 2 Intermediate People's Court after he was denied to attend the espionage charges case for Yang Hengjun, in Beijing, Thursday, May 27, 2021.
Australian Ambassador to China Graham Fletcher, right, speaks to reporters after he was denied attendance to the espionage charges case for Yang Hengjun, in Beijing on May 27, 2021.
AP Photo/Andy Wong

“It’s illegal. Torture,” Yang said in the account circulated to his supporters. He didn’t say how the judge responded.

The court held a closed trial on Thursday and gave no indication of when a verdict would be released.

Chinese authorities have not released any details of the charges against Yang, who reportedly formerly worked for the country’s Ministry of State Security as an intelligence agent.

Yang said the judge refused his request to submit evidence and call witnesses during the trial, but agreed to include almost 100 pages of defense documents in his file.

policemen patrol near the No. 2 Intermediate People's Court where the espionage charges case for Yang Hengjun is going to be held in Beijing, Thursday, May 27, 2021.
Policemen patrol near the No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court where the espionage charges case for Yang Hengjun is going to be held in Beijing on May 27, 2021.
AP Photo/Andy Wong

Yang has denied the allegations. A conviction is virtually certain.

Chinese law prohibits use of confessions forced by torture or threats.

Yang’s account said he was “tired and confused” during the hearing and “didn’t have the spirit to speak enough.” He said he spoke for less than five minutes in his own defense, but that the hearing “gave me a sense that things are OK.”

Possible penalties range from three years in prison to the death penalty.

Beijing has blocked imports of Australian beef, wine, coal and other goods in retaliation for enacting legislation against foreign interference in politics, excluding telecom equipment giant Huawei from Australia’s next-generation phone network and calling for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus that emerged in China in late 2019.

Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun attends a lecture at Beijing Institute of Technology in Beijing, China, 18 November 2010.
Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun has been incarcerated since January 2019.
Imaginechina via AP Images

Australia warned its citizens of a risk of arbitrary detention in China in July 2020.

Australian diplomats have visited Yang in detention, but Ambassador Graham Fletcher was denied entry to last week’s trial.

In September, reporters Michael Smith of the Australian Financial Review and Bill Birtles of the Australian Broadcasting Corp. left China following demands by police to question them. That left Australian news outlets without any reporters in China.

Before their departure, Chinese police questioned both journalists about Australian citizen Cheng Lei, a business news anchor for CGTN, the English-language news channel of Chinese state television, who was detained a month earlier.

[ad_2]

Source link

- Advertisement -

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article

Floyd-Paul fight Online | Mayweather vs Paul Live Stream

Mayweather vs Paul fight live stream (2021 June 06): How to watch Floyd v Paul boxing, time, channel YouTuber Logan Paul has struck a deal...

DHS nixes Trump’s ‘remain in Mexico’ policy for migrants

The Biden administration Tuesday formally ended a policy enacted by the Trump administration that forced asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for their cases...

Revisiting death of Yankees legend Lou Gehrig 80 years later

Editor’s note: The Post’s Mike Vaccaro recounts the death of Lou Gehrig — who died 80 years ago Wednesday — in his book,...

Robert Hogan, actor on ‘Peyton Place’ and ‘The Wire,’ dead at 87

Longtime TV actor Robert Hogan — best known for roles on “Peyton Place,” “Law & Order” and HBO’s “The Wire” — has died....

Knicks’ Obi Toppin may see more playing time in Game 5

Obi Toppin’s role could increase and Nerlens Noel has looked better in practice, giving Tom Thibodeau decisions to make up front. The Knicks coach...