Australian writer Yang Hengjun has been given a suspended death sentence by a Chinese court, five years after he was arrested and accused of spying.

Australian scholar and novelist Dr. Yang has been sentence to imprisonment after two years for criticizing human rights abuses in China. The Australian government is “appalled” by the outcome and has summoned China’s Ambassador to Australia for an explanation. The Chinese foreign ministry has warned against interference in the case and to respect the nation’s “judicial sovereignty” Dr. Yang’s supporters describe his detention as ” political persecution” and argue that his writings often avoid direct criticisms of the government.

He is a Chinese citizen and was arrested in Guangzhou in 2019, faces due process concerns, limited legal representation and secret trial, affecting bilateral relations and highlighting the Chinese legal system’s opacity.