mandag 31. mai 2021

‘They tortured me,’ Australian Yang Hengjun says as he awaits verdict after trial in China

Yang Hengjun, the Australian writer facing espionage charges in China, told his secret trial in Beijing he is “100% innocent” but he has said he was tortured while being interrogated and fears forced confessions may be used against him.

Yang, 55, faced a single-day trial on Thursday, held in secret, after more than two years in detention. He spoke in his own defence, and submitted about 100 pages of evidence and testimony to support his case, but has said he is concerned that records of more than 300 interrogations, including during sustained periods of torture, were captured by hidden cameras and could be used as evidence against him.

In a message sent from detention after his trial, Yang said his initial interrogations were designed to coerce a false confession from him. “The interrogations I had been subjected to, where I was told I had to confess, and the treatment I received for the first one-and-a-half years, was much worse. “The first six months, when I was in RSDL [residential surveillance at a designated location – a type of secret detention], was a really bad period. They tortured me.”