[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jun 22 10:21:07 CDT 2005
Chinese Defector Breaks Down, Fears Return to China
A former Chinese diplomat seeking asylum in Australia broke down and cried
at a news conference in Sydney on Wednesday, saying he believed Canberra
and Beijing had agreed to send him back to China.
"I am really scared. I don't know what to do," said an emotional Chen
Yonglin, the former political affairs consul at the Chinese consulate in
"I have witnessed so many under the table deals between the Australian
government and Chinese diplomats I truly sense I will be betrayed or sold
out by the Australian government," said Chen.
Chen made public his bid for asylum on June 4 at a Sydney rally to mark
the anniversary of the 1989 crushing of Tiananmen Square pro-democracy
protests in Beijing.
A spokesman for Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone said on Wednesday no
decision had yet been made on the asylum request, but Chen was not
"I feel I may have already been sold out. They have reached an agreement
to send me back to China," he said.
Chen said he feared for his safety if he was returned to China. "It is
possible I may face dire consequences," he said.
He told the rally that Beijing operated some 1,000 spies and informants in
Australia and had kidnapped critics and whisked them back to China. Chen
said on Wednesday he had no documents to support his spy and kidnap
Chen has said Beijing considers him a threat because he offered help to
some democracy activists and Falun Gong practitioners. Falun Gong is an
amalgam of religions, meditation and exercises that Beijing considers to
be an evil cult.
China has rejected Chen's spy and kidnap claims, saying he was due to
return home after 4 years in Australia and has made up the stories in
order to stay.
Chen initially sought political asylum in May but was rejected by
He is currently seeking an immigration protection visa, which is granted
to asylum seekers under the United Nations Refugees Convention.
Chen, who has been in hiding with his wife and young daughter, said his
life has been a "living hell" since leaving the consulate. He said he had
decided to hold a news conference because he was desperate for help.
"Who can help me? I don't know," he said.
Chen said he was interviewed by an immigration official last Thursday, but
had heard nothing since and believed his fate had already been decided.
"I am sandwiched between 2 major countries," he said.
"I feel I have no choice (but to go public) because I feel my protection
application is going to be rejected."
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