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Arts

Australian writer indicted for espionage in Beijing, says China

BEIJING (Reuters) - Detained Australian writer Yang Hengjun is accused of espionage and his case is currently being heard by a Beijing court, China’s foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday.

The 55-year-old blogger was detained by Chinese authorities in January 2019 at Guangzhou Airport after arriving from New York. He has been held in a Beijing detention facility with no access to his family, while his wife remains in China.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Yang had been indicted on charges of espionage on Oct. 7, and that Chinese authorities were fully protecting his rights.

“The Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court has filed and accepted the case according to law,” said Zhao. The first hearing of the case is ongoing, he said.

Yang told his family in a message last month that he was innocent and would “never confess to something I haven’t done”.

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Alex Richardson

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