One year after her detention on "spying" charges, concerns are growing over Australian journalist Cheng Lei, who remains in detention with no access to a lawyer, the Australian government said on Friday. "The Australian Government remains seriously concerned about Ms Cheng's detention and welfare and has regularly raised these issues at senior levels," foreign minister Marise Payne said in a statement. "We are particularly concerned that one year into her detention, there remains a lack of transparency about the reasons for Ms Cheng’s detention."
Payne said consular officials have been visiting Cheng regularly, most recently on July 26, and that the government is providing assistance to her and her family. "We expect basic standards of justice, procedural fairness and humane treatment to be met, in accordance with international norms," she said. A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Canberra said the case would be handled "in accordance with [Chinese] law."
"We firmly oppose the statement by the Australian foreign minister," the embassy said in a statement on its website.