News World Free Australian from solitary, China told
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Free Australian from solitary, China told

The foreign minister is urging China to release Australian writer Yang Hengjun from shackles in Beijing, and allow him to see his family and lawyers. Photo: AAP
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Foreign Minister Marise Payne is calling on China to release Australian writer Yang Hengjun from solitary confinement in Beijing.

Yang has reportedly been shackled in chains and told he could face the death penalty if convicted of spying.

“His circumstances of detention are very, very concerning to us,” Senator Payne told ABC radio on Wednesday.

“We have asked for him to be given access to his lawyers, and I repeated that request in recent days to my counterpart, state councillor Wang Yi.”

Australia is also lobbying China to ease the harsh conditions Yang is being held in.

“We have asked for him to be given access to family visits and to be released from what appears to be a version of solitary confinement, which gives him very little access to the outside world,” Senator Payne said.

“It’s the case that we understand his movements have been very tightly constricted, so they are all concerning circumstances for us.”

Consular officials visited Yang in Beijing last month.

“We will continue to press for all of those issues to be addressed and ask that he be treated in international human rights law and expectations,” Senator Payne said.

-AAP