我們在下簽署的筆會，深切關注澳大利亞公民、作家楊恒均持續遭受到的不公正待遇。在楊恒均經過兩年多審前羈押並遭受酷刑及其他形式的虐待後，2021 年 5 月 27 日其庭審進行了數小時閉門聽證，引起了有關公平審判權和司法透明原則的重大疑問。據悉，此後法院一再延期，原定於2022年1月9日宣判，又第三次推遲，更加劇了楊恒均受到的不公正待遇。我們還收到報告，他的身體狀況嚴重惡化，盡管其腎功能衰竭的風險增加，但他卻沒有得到充分的治療。
楊恒均的博文在中文社交媒體上獲得大量關注，其數十篇文章後被譯成英文並發表於《外交官》（The Diplomat）。其作品的普遍主題是民主價值的長處，中美間更大了解的需要，以及他對專制統治問題的個人醒悟，在其追隨者中贏得“民主小販”的外號。 據報道，2019 年 1 月，楊恒均與妻兒從美國飛往中國，此後被中國政府安全部門拘留。他最初以被稱為“指定居所監視居住”的惡名昭彰法外拘留形式，關押在某秘密地點六個月，據報曾遭受酷刑。 2019 年 8 月，楊恒均以涉嫌從事間諜活動被正式逮捕，但並未披露任何支持指控的證據給其家人或領事代表。
楊恒均在長達兩年多的審前羈押期間，被拒絕家人探視，獲律師和領事探視的機會也有限。據報道，他遭受了 300 多次審訊，他有關撤銷屈打成招供詞的請求被中國政府拒絕。 2021 年 5 月 27 日，楊恒均案庭審訊閉門進行，據報持續了不到七小時，其領事代表被拒絕到庭旁聽，因此違反了《維也納公約》和澳中雙邊領事協定。
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China: PEN Centres world-wide call for the release of Australian writer Yang Hengjun
We, the undersigned PEN Centres, are deeply concerned about the ongoing unjust treatment of writer and Australian citizen, Yang Hengjun (杨恒均), who has been detained in China since since January 2019. After over two years of pre-trial detention where he was reportedly subjected to torture and other forms of ill treatment, on 27 May 2021 Yang Hengjun’s trial took place over the course of a few hours in a closed hearing, raising significant questions concerning Yang Hengjun’s right to a fair trial and the principle of judicial transparency. After repeated delays, the court’s judgement was due to be made public on 9 January 2022, however we have since received information that the verdict has been delayed for a third time, compounding the injustice that Yang has been subjected to. We have also received reports that his physical condition has seriously deteriorated, and that he has received inadequate medical treatment despite being at increased risk of kidney failure.
In light of the serious procedural issues surrounding his trial and the unsubstantiated allegations made against him, we call on the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to end this injustice and facilitate Yang Hengjun’s immediate and unconditional release so that he can receive medical treatment and be safely repatriated to Australia.
Yang Hengjun is an Australian novelist, scholar and political commentator who is committed to the advancement of human rights and greater freedoms in China. His trilogy of spy novels, known as the Fatal Weaknessseries, is centred on the fictional escapades of a double agent working for both the US and PRC government intelligence agencies. The series is reportedly banned in the PRC but has been shared widely online among Chinese diasporas.
His blog posts have garnered a significant following on Chinese social media, and dozens of his articles were later translated into English and published on The Diplomat. Common themes in his writing are the virtues of democratic values, the need for greater understanding between China and the United States, and his personal awakening to the problematic aspects of autocratic rule, earning him the nickname ‘Democracy Peddler’ among his followers.
In January 2019, Yang reportedly flew with his wife and child from the United States to China where he was then detained by the PRC government’s security services. He was initially held at a secret location for six months in a notorious form of extrajudicial detention called Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location, where Yang was reportedly tortured. In August 2019 Yang was formally arrested on suspicion of espionage without any evidence supporting the charge disclosed to his family or consular representatives.
Throughout his over two years of pre-trial detention, Yang was denied family visits and was granted limited access to legal counsel and consular visits. He was reportedly subjected to over 300 interrogations and his request for the dismissal of testimony he gave under torture was denied by the PRC government.
On 27 May 2021, Yang’s trial was held behind closed doors and reportedly lasted less than seven hours, with his consular representatives denied the ability to attend, a breach of both the Vienna Convention and the Australia-China bilateral consular agreement.
Prior to the commencement of his trial, Yang Hengjun shared his hope that he would be able to continue writing ‘to help China to understand the world’ in a message he had transcribed while detained. When considering the trial’s potential outcome, Yang Hengjun said:
‘If worse comes to worst, if someone wants to take revenge on me for my writings, please explain to the people inside China what I did, and the significance of my writing to people in China. The values and beliefs which we shared, and which I shared with my readers, are something bigger than myself.’
We, the undersigned PEN Centres, call on the PRC government to immediately and unconditionally release Yang Hengjun so that he and his family can be safely repatriated to Australia to live freely without fear of further persecution.
- PEN International
- PEN Melbourne
- PEN Sydney
- PEN Perth
- Independent Chinese PEN Centre
- English PEN
- German PEN Centre
- PEN Argentina
- PEN Nederland
- PEN Canada
- Danish PEN
- PEN America
- P.E.N. Québec
- PEN Chile
- PEN Nigeria
- PEN Ukraine
- PEN Norway
For further information please contact Ross Holder, Asia Programme Coordinator at PEN International, Unit A, Koops Mill, 162-164 Abbey Street, London, SE1 2AN, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338, email: firstname.lastname@example.org