Yang charged with espionage in Beijing
Chinese-Australian writer and former Chinese diplomat Yang Hengjun has been formally charged with espionage in Beijing, reports the Guardian.
Yang has been detained in China since January, after being arrested while travelling in Guangzhou and is currently being held in a Ministry of State Security detention centre in Beijing. Under Chinese law, espionage offences can carry sentences ranging from three years in prison to the death penalty.
The Australian embassy was informed by the Beijing National Security Bureau that Yang had been formally charged ‘suspected of committing espionage crimes,’ without any details of the allegations against him, and it is unclear whether the charge relates to his work as a writer, blogger or democracy activist.
A critic of the Chinese government and an advocate for democracy, Yang previously worked in the Chinese Foreign Affairs Department in Beijing before becoming an Australian citizen. He has written a series of spy novels including Fatal Weakness, Fatal Weapon and Fatal Assassination, which are self-published on his Chinese- and English-language blog.
Category: Local news