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China releases Australian journalist after 3 years in detention

China releases Australian journalist after 3 years in detention

 
- Cheng Lei’s release followed ‘completion of legal processes in China,’ says Australian prime minister
 

By Islamuddin Sajid

ANKARA (AA) - China has released Australian journalist Cheng Lei, who was jailed for three years, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Wednesday.

Cheng was detained by Chinese authorities in 2020 and formally arrested in February 2021 after a six-month detention over "suspicion of illegally supplying state secrets overseas."

"I am pleased to confirm that Ms Cheng Lei has arrived safely home in Australia, and has been reunited with her two children and her family. I spoke with her on the phone this afternoon," Albanese said on X.

Her release followed the “completion of legal processes in China,” according to a statement by the prime minister.

“The Australian Government will continue to provide whatever consular support Ms Cheng and her family require,” it added.

The development came as Albanese prepares to visit Beijing this year.

Born in 1975 in Yueyang, China’s landlocked south-central Hunan province, Cheng moved to Melbourne with her parents at the age of 10.

She began her career as a business reporter in 2001, and joined CCTV News, now CGTN, in 2002. She is married and has two children.

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