Australian writer said he was “tortured” in Chinese prisons Australia News


Yang Jun told supporters that he was tortured while being held in a secret detention center after being arrested in 2019.

An Australian scholar who was tried for espionage in China told supporters that he was tortured during detention, but he still does not know which country he was accused of espionage for.

Yang Jun, who was born in China, said he was tortured when he was held in a secret detention center after being detained more than two years ago.

“The first six months… was a very bad period. They tortured me,” he said in a message seen by AFP.

“I have been detained in a place worse than prison for more than two years.”

The 56-year-old scholar’s trial started behind closed doors on Thursday, and the Australian ambassador to Beijing was denied entry.

Yang said that due to dental problems, he could only eat with two teeth. At the hearing on Thursday, he was “tired and confused” and “not enough energy to speak.”

“I only talked for three to five minutes. My own defense is not that good.”

Yang insisted that he was “100% innocent” and stated that he had tried to revoke the interrogation record but failed.

“This is illegal. Torture,” he said, accusing the authorities of using “hidden cameras.”

“I was interrogated, where I was told that I had to admit… Maybe someone was taking revenge on me.”

Yang also stated that he failed to request permission to submit evidence and call witnesses to defend himself.

Beijing stated that the trial could be conducted legally and secretly because it involved “state secrets” and criticized Australia for “interfering” as relations between the two countries deteriorate.

Yang, who goes by the pseudonym Yang Hengjun, also said that he still doesn’t know who he is accused of spying for.

“This is not an ideological crime. These allegations are related to espionage. But who do I work for? If this is a crime, if I am a criminal, who do I work for? I don’t work for Australia or the United States,” he said.

“I just write for people. I write for the rule of law, democracy and freedom.”

According to reports, Yang worked for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hainan Province-although Beijing denied this.

It is believed that he left mainland China for Hong Kong in 1992 and went to the United States five years later, where he worked for the Atlantic Council think tank.

He later joined an Australian citizen-although Beijing does not recognize dual citizenship-and wrote a series of spy novels and a popular Chinese blog.

In 2011, Yang Zeng went missing once in China, and when he reappeared a few days later, he described his disappearance as a “misunderstanding.”

Since his detention, Beijing has hardly outlined the details of the case against him.

The country’s judicial system convicted most of the people on trial, and espionage is punishable by life imprisonment.

In recent years, the relationship between Canberra and Beijing has deteriorated drastically, from the telecommunications giant Huawei to the origin of COVID-19 and human rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

In return, China imposed tariffs on Australian exports worth billions of dollars and cut off diplomatic channels between the two countries.


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