Lars Basvier – Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at 1:11 PM | 0 comments Join the conversation
Australian journalist and presenter Qing Lei, who has been imprisoned in China since August 2020, has been released. She has now left the country and been reunited with her family, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has written. Cheng is of Chinese descent and worked for China’s English-language state broadcaster CGTN. In August 2020, she suddenly disappeared from television screens, shortly after criticizing China’s coronavirus policy.
After that, any further reference to Cheng disappeared from CGTN’s website. As it turned out, Cheng was accused of espionage and leaking state secrets. Authorities said their activities would endanger national security. Her trial took place completely secretly. The Australian ambassador was also not allowed to attend.
Ultimately, after many delays in processing her case, she was sentenced to 35 months in prison. Shortly after Cheng’s arrest, Australia deported two journalists from the country because they had also been threatened with arrest.
It appears that Australia had no hand in Cheng’s release, but only served her prison sentence. Prime Minister Albanese only reported that Cheng was released after “legal procedures in China” were completed.
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