Joint media statement:
- The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Leader of the Opposition
It is time the Chinese Government brought closure to the case of Australian citizen Ms Cheng Lei and released her from detention.
Today marks 1,000 days since Ms Cheng was unjustly detained in China in August 2020.
Ms Cheng has been held on secret charges, subjected to a secret trial, and a verdict repeatedly deferred.
Almost three years on, no light has been shed on the allegations against Ms Cheng.
It is impossible for any of us outside this situation to imagine the physical and emotional trauma of being detained for such a long period of time.
Most disturbing is Ms Cheng’s continued separation from her children. Compassion, as well as justice, should see her allowed to return home to give a Mum’s love to her children.
The Coalition appreciates the sensitivity and complexity of a consular case such as this. We acknowledge that considerable effort has been applied under this government and the former government.
After 1,000 days of unjust detention, it is time the Chinese Government closed Ms Cheng’s case, restored her freedom and allowed her to return home to her family, including her partner and her two children.
Earlier this year, on 19 January 2023, we also marked four years since Dr Yang Hengjun (Dr Yang Jun) was detained in China in circumstances similar to Ms Cheng. Dr Yang similarly deserves to have justice served and to be released.
The Coalition continues to provide bipartisan support to the Albanese Government to do all that is possible to secure the release of both Ms Cheng and Dr Yang.
We hold Ms Cheng, Dr Yang and their families in our thoughts during this difficult time.