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Greens arrange legal advice for Chinese diplomat.



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Senator Bob Brown Senator for Tasmania

Greens arrange legal advice for Chinese diplomat

6th Jun 2005

The Greens have arranged for legal advice for Chinese diplomat, Mr Chen Yonglin. "Mr Chen should have been given immediate assistance by the Australian Government 12 days ago but instead he has been left with no support," Senator Brown said. "I spoke to the chiefs of staff in both Foreign Minister Downer’s and Immigration Minister Vanstone’s offices on Saturday night. I was told that Mr Chen had not sought asylum and was not contactable. I have had no formal response to my request that Mr Chen be given the assistance he requires. "It is a disgrace that instead of helping Mr Chen, the Australian Government has in fact been consulting with the Chinese Government", Senator Brown said. The Greens are calling for a Senate investigation into the Government’s handling of this issue when the Senate resumes next week. This morning Senator Brown has written to Foreign Minister Downer with a copy to the Prime Minister, formally requesting the Australian Government provide Mr Chen with immediate protection and political asylum in this country. Mr Chin Jin, (Federation for a Democratic China, Australia) and Ben Oquist from Senator Brown’s office have been assisting Mr Chen and will be available for comment this afternoon. On legal advice Mr Chen will not be making further comment today.

ENDS