International PEN Melbourne Centre
Defending persecuted writers, freedom of expression and promoting cultural understanding through literature
Yang Hengjun is an Australian novelist, blogger and political commentator who is committed to the advancement of human rights and political reform in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
A keen commentator on Chinese politics and the virtues of democratic pluralism, Yang’s writing has been regularly featured in The Diplomat and his blog posts garnered a significant following on Chinese social media, earning himself the nickname of ‘Democracy Peddler’. As a novelist, he has authored a fictional spy trilogy known as the Fatal Series.
Yang was abducted by the security services when visiting the PRC with his family in January 2019, and on 7 October 2020 he was formally charged with espionage. If convicted, Yang faces a potential sentence ranging from three years’ imprisonment to the death penalty.
PEN International considers Yang Hengjun’s detention to be a clear breach of his right to freedom of expression and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.
Take Action by:
- Sending an appeal to the Chinese authorities
- Telling others: share Yang’s case and his work via Twitter (see below)
In your letter request that the authorities:
- Release Yang Hengjun immediately and unconditionally.
- Allow Yang Hengjun’s family to leave the PRC without any restrictions.
- Provide Yang Hengjun with unrestricted access to legal representatives of his choosing and to representatives of the Australian government.
- End all policies that contravene the PRC government’s international human rights obligations.
President Xi Jinping
General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and President of the People’s Republic of China.
Address: General Secretary Office, Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Zhongnanhai Ximen, Fuyou Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100017
People’s Republic of China
Ambassador CHENG Jingye
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Commonwealth of Australia
Address: 15 Coronation Drive, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, Australia.
Ambassador ZHANG Jun
Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations.
Address: 350 East 35th Street, New York, NY 10016, USA.
Tell others: share Yang Hengjun’s case and his work on Twitter:
#YangHengjun’s detention is a breach of his right to freedom of expression. I call for his immediate and unconditional release.
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