Labor is deeply concerned and dismayed by the news that Australian citizen Dr Yang Hengjun has been formally arrested in China on suspicion of espionage.
Labor has been briefed by the Foreign Minister’s Office and is fully supportive of the Australian Government’s efforts to advocate for Dr Yang’s interests.
We continue to call on the Chinese Government to clarify the reasons for Dr Yang’s detention and to ensure Dr Yang is treated in a fair, unbiased and transparent manner in accordance with international human rights law. We join the Government’s request that if Dr Yang is being detained purely for his political views then he should be released.
Australia is a country governed by the rule of law, which cannot be compromised or politicised. We will always assert and protect our interests and safeguard our sovereignty. This includes defending democracy, free speech, the rule of law, and the protection of rights, including freedom from intimidation.
Our thoughts are with Dr Yang and his family and friends during this distressing time.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.