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Health Fears Rise for Australian Writer Held in China For Spying

  • Yang Hengjun says he was tortured in statement given to family
  • Australian government calls for Yang’s ‘immediate’ release
Yang Hengjun in Beijing in 2010. 
Yang Hengjun in Beijing in 2010. Photographer: Zhan min/ICHPL Imaginechina/AP Photo
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Australian writer Yang Hengjun’s health condition has deteriorated since his arrest in China three years ago with his family now warning he could die in jail if he doesn’t get urgent medical attention and Canberra calling for his immediate release. 

Yang, a Chinese-born Australian national who’s also known as Yang Jun, became well-known as a commentator in China. His arrest in China for spying was announced in Aug. 2019 and came months after he was detained in Guangzhou. Yang has denied the allegations in a case that has inflamed tensions between Beijing and Canberra.