Australia appeals for journalist on 2-year anniversary of her arrest in China
Sydney, Australia, Aug 13 (EFE).- Australia advocated on Saturday for the rights of Chinese-Australian TV anchor Cheng Lei on the second anniversary of her arrest in Beijing on charges of espionage.
In a statement, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Australia has repeatedly called for “basic standards of justice, procedural fairness and humane treatment to be met, in accordance with international norms.”
“Our thoughts today are with Ms Cheng’s family, including her two young children, with whom she has had no contact since she was detained,” the minister said.
Cheng was arrested on Aug. 13, 2020 and on Mar. 31 she was tried behind closed doors in Beijing for allegedly “illegally supplying state secrets overseas.”
The anchor for Chinese state broadcaster China Global Television Network (CGTN), who was born 46 years ago in China and has Australian citizenship, is still detained and waiting for the court to issue its ruling.
In June, her partner Nick Coyle expressed concern for her health and criticized the fact that the Chinese authorities had suspended consular visits from Canberra, citing restrictions due to Covid-19.
Coyle said that he finds it difficult to understand the reasons for Lei’s arrest because she is “somebody who wasn’t involved in politics.”
In addition to the television presenter, the Australian government seeks the release of the Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun, who was arrested in 2019 in China and tried in May 2021 behind closed doors for espionage. His sentence is not known. EFE