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Wednesday, 10 September 2003
Page: 19809

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

(1) Is he aware of the case of Yao Fuxin.

(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 Yao Fuxin's case; if so, (a) when, (b) to whom, (c) by whom, and (d) what was the response; if not, why not.

(8) Was Yao Fuxin'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) Yao Fuxin was arrested on 30 March 2002, and tried, convicted and sentenced in May 2003.

(3) Yao Fuxin was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for subverting state power.

(4) The Australian Government believes that Yao Fuxin may have been detained and held in breach of international human rights standards.

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

(6) (7) and (8) I have no information on Yao Fuxin's current circumstances. Yao Fuxin was included on the list of individual cases presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the seventh round of the bilateral human rights dialogue in Beijing on 28 July 2003. The Ministry responded with information on the crime he was convicted of and the sentence, and advised that his appeal had been unsuccessful.