An appeal from Australia to the detained journalist in China a thousand days ago
Rome, May 8th. (askanews) – Canberra has said it is worried about its fate and is asking for the release of Cheng Lei, a Chinese-Australian TV presenter who has been held in China for more than 1,000 days. The journalist, born in 1975 and has two children, worked for the English version of Chinese public broadcaster CGTN (Chinese Global Television Network) and has been in detention since August 2020 on charges of “disseminating state secrets abroad.”
According to Australia, his arrest is linked to political reasons. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong expressed her “deep concern” about the case. “Apart from the fact that she has been separated from her family for so long, she has shown tremendous resilience and courage,” the minister emphasized, adding that all Australians would like to see her reunite with her children.
His arrest and the detention of other Australian citizens in China – as hinted by the Australian foreign minister – is an obstacle in the already strained relations between the two countries. Beijing Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin responded at the press conference:
We have repeatedly provided relevant information in the case you mentioned. We also explained how the relevant Chinese authorities handled Cheng Lei’s alleged crime in accordance with the law. And what I want to emphasize – and conclude – is that Cheng Lei’s various rights are guaranteed by law.”
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