Name: Yang Hengjun
Occupation: Novelist, blogger and political commentator
Situation: Detained. Charged with espionage
Yang Hengjun is an Australian novelist, blogger and political commentator who is committed to the advancement of human rights and political reform in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
A keen commentator on Chinese politics and the virtues of democratic pluralism, Yang’s writing has been regularly featured in The Diplomat and his blog posts garnered a significant following on Chinese social media, earning himself the nickname of ‘Democracy Peddler’. As a novelist, he has authored a fictional spy trilogy known as the Fatal Series.
Yang was abducted by the security services when visiting the PRC with his family in January 2019, and on 7 October 2020 he was formally charged with espionage. If convicted, Yang faces a potential sentence ranging from three years’ imprisonment to the death penalty.
PEN International considers Yang Hengjun’s detention to be a clear breach of his right to freedom of expression and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.
- Send an appeal to the Chinese authorities
- Tell others: share Yang’s case and his work
- Donate to Pen International
Ask the authorities to:
- Release Yang Hengjun immediately and unconditionally.
- Allow Yang Hengjun’s family to leave the PRC without any restrictions.
- Provide Yang Hengjun with unrestricted access to legal representatives of his choosing and to representatives of the Australian government.
- End all policies that contravene the PRC government’s international human rights obligations.
#YangHengjun’s detention is a breach of his right to freedom of expression. I call for his immediate and unconditional release #LiuXiaoboanniversary
President Xi Jinping – General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and President of the People’s Republic of China.
Address: General Secretary Office, Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Zhongnanhai Ximen, Fuyou Street, Xicheng District, Beijing 100017, People’s Republic of China
Ambassador CHENG Jingye - Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Commonwealth of Australia
Address: 15 Coronation Drive, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, Australia.
Ambassador CHEN Xu –Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office in Geneva.
Address: 11, Chemin de Surville 1213 Petit-Lancy, Geneva, Switzerland.
Ambassador ZHANG Jun – Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations.
Address: 350 East 35th Street, New York, NY 10016, USA.
Send copies to the diplomatic representatives in country: https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjb_663304/zwjg_665342/2490_665344/
Tell others: share Yang Hengjun’s case and his work
We encourage PEN members to continue to:
- Publish articles and opinion pieces about this case in your national or local press;
- Share information about Yang Hengjun and your campaigning via social media; please use #LiuXiaoboanniversary and #YangHengjun
- Organise public events, press conferences and demonstrations.
Please let us know about your activities and actions. This helps us monitor the impact of our campaigning.
On the Liu Xiaobo Anniversary join @PEN_Int and call for the release of novelist, blogger and political commentator #YangHengjun. Detained. Charged with espionage. [insert link]
Yang Hengjun, excerpt from Fatal Weakness or Achilles Heel
“knocking starts again, and I give in first. I climb up, pull the towel off the chair beside my bed and wrap it around my waist, opening the door with a bare chest. When I open the door I see Landlord Bo trying to jam the key in the hole with shaking hands. From the looks of it, he's been trying for a while. Before I even have time to get angry, I see standing behind him two middle-aged men, one tall, one short. The old landlord backs off to one side, and the short, fat one of the two strangers flashes his ID in front of my face; before I have time to react, he says, "we're the police. You are Yang Wenfeng, is that correct?
To learn about Liu Xiaobo Anniversary campaign, click here
Your support today will make a crucial difference, helping to promote cultural understanding and fight for persecuted writers. It will also safeguard civil society and education programmes worldwide. Give today.