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China diplomat needs urgent asylum and protection - Greens.

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Senator Bob Brown Senator for Tasmania

China diplomat needs urgent asylum and protection - Greens

5th Jun 2005

Greens Senator Bob Brown has called on the Howard Government to grant Chinese diplomat and defector, Chen Yonglin, asylum and protection.

Senator Brown spoke to Mr Chen overnight. He also contacted chiefs of staff in both Foreign Minister Downer’s and Immigration Minister Vanstone’s offices, calling for Mr Chen to get the urgent assistance and protection required.

“Mr Chen is a senior and experienced diplomat who has publicly alleged that Beijing has engaged in criminal acts in Australia, including spying and kidnapping. I am very alarmed that before he was granted any aid or protection, the Australian Government went to the Chinese Embassy to confirm his identity and therefore his defection. The officials I spoke to appeared unaware Mr Chen had sought political asylum, although he did so, in writing, on 25th May.

“In his letter Mr Chen told the Australian Government “The Chinese Government shall certainly be searching for me and my family, and our lives are risky in the first 3 to 6 weeks. Therefore, I urgently need your quick processing of my application”.

“With his wife and child, Mr Chen should have been given immediate asylum, legal assistance, security and reassurance. The Government appears to have granted him nothing,” said Senator Brown

Senator Brown is, this morning, arranging legal advice for Mr Chen.

“The government of Communist China is not democratic. It effectively remains a police state regime,” Senator Brown said.

Further information: Ben Oquist 0419 704095