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Wednesday, 10 September 2003
Page: 19806

Mr Danby asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 20 August 2003:

(1) Is he aware of the case of US permanent resident and Tiananmen Square activist Dr Yang Jianli.

(2) Can he confirm that Dr Yang Jianli was placed on trial for spying on 4 August 2003.

(3) Is he able to say what Dr Yang was accused of doing.

(4) Was the trial (a) fair and free and (b) open to Dr Yang's family, advisers and international observers.

(5) Is he aware that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention determined that Dr Yang's confinement violates minimum international human rights standards.

(6) Has Dr Yang been convicted of a crime; if so, what was his sentence.

(7) Has the Government made representations to the Chinese Government about Dr Yang's case; if so, (a) when, (b) to whom, (c) by whom, and (d) what was the response; if not, why not.

(8) Was Dr Yang's case discussed at the recent Australia-China Human Rights Dialogue; if so, (a) with whom, (b) by whom, and (c) what was the response; if not, why not.

Mr Downer (Minister for Foreign Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes

(2) Yes

(3) Dr Yang was tried on charges of espionage and immigration offences.

(4) The trial was not open to the public.

(5) Yes.

(6) The verdict in the trial has yet to be announced.

(7) and (8) The Government did not raise Dr Yang's case during the most recent round of the bilateral Human Rights Dialogue. At the time, he had only been accused of immigration offences.