Yang Jun told supporters he was abused while being held in a secret place of detention after his arrest in 2019.
An Australian academic who has been tried in China for espionage has told supporters that he has been tortured in prison and it is not yet known in which country he is accused of spying.
Chinese -born Yang Jun said he was abused while being held in a secret place of detention after being taken into custody more than two years ago.
“The first six months were bad weather. They tortured me, ”he said in a message seen by the AFP.
“I’ve been incarcerated in a much worse place than prison for more than two years now.”
The 56-year-old academic’s trial began behind closed doors on Thursday, with the Australian ambassador to Beijing denied entry.
Yang said he could only eat with two teeth because of dental problems and was “tired and confused” at the hearing on Thursday, where “he didn’t have the spirit to say enough”.
“I only spoke for three to five minutes. My own defense wasn’t very good.”
Yang insisted he was “100 percent innocent” and said he tried and failed to remove the records from his interrogation.
“It’s illegal. Torture, ”he said, accusing authorities of using a“ hidden camera ”.
“The interrogations that were subjected to me, where I was told I had to confess… Maybe someone was taking revenge against me.”
Yang also said he failed a request to allow him to submit evidence and call witnesses in his own defense.
Beijing said the settlement could be legally made in secret because it involved “state secrets” and criticized Australia for “interfering” in an hour -long broken relationship between the two countries.
Yang, who also goes by the pen name Yang Hengjun, also said he was not yet clear who he accused of spying.
“This is not an ideological crime. The allegations of espionage. But who do I work for? If it’s a crime, and if I’m a criminal, who do I work for? I don’t work for Australia or the US, ”he said.
“I just write for people. Writing for the rule of law, democracy, and freedom. ”
Yang reportedly previously worked for China’s foreign department in Hainan province – though this has been denied by Beijing.
He is believed to have left mainland China for Hong Kong in 1992 and then traveled to the U.S. five years later, where he worked for the Atlantic Council think-tank.
He later took Australian citizenship – even though Beijing did not recognize dual nationality – and wrote a series of spy novels and a popular Chinese -language blog.
Yang disappeared in China once before, in 2011, plotting his disappearance as a “misunderstanding” when he was resurrected days later.
Beijing has given almost no details about the case against him since he was taken into custody.
The country’s judiciary system convicts most of the people on trial, and intelligence charges could land in prison forever.
Relations between Canberra and Beijing have severely deteriorated in recent years, with controversy in everything from telecoms giant Huawei to the origin of COVID-19 and human rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
Instead, China imposed export tariffs on Australia worth billions of dollars and halted diplomatic routes between the two countries.