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Wednesday, 10 September 2003
Page: 19808

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

(1) Is he aware of the case of lawyer Zhang Jianzhong.

(2) When was he (a) charged, (b) tried, (c) convicted, and (d) sentenced.

(3) With what was he charged and what was his sentence.

(4) Is he a political prisoner.

(5) Was his trial free and fair.

(6) Is he being held in compliance with his basic human rights.

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

(8) Was Zhang Jianzhong'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) and (3) We have asked the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for this information and are awaiting a response.

(4) (5) and (6) The Australian Government believes he may have been detained and held in breach of international human rights standards.

(7) and (8) The Australian Embassy in Beijing raised Mr Zhang's case with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 29 August 2003. We are awaiting a response.