Australian News Anchor Cheng Lei Was Arrested On National Security Grounds, Says China
She was taken into secretive detention in mid-August by Chinese authorities.
Cheng Lei, a news anchor for China’s state-run CGTN, was arrested in Beijing on national security grounds last month, according to China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian. Chinese authorities had held back on the reason for her arrest till now but have revealed on the day two other Australian journalists managed to flee the country. Australian consular staff were able to reach Lei through video link, but they were also not provided any reason for her detention.
It has come to light that Lei was critical of the Chinese government in some Facebook posts from earlier this year. However, there has been no indication of the posts being linked to the arrest. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a press conference that she was “suspected of carrying out illegal activities endangering China’s national security.” He also added, “This case is being handled according to law and Cheng’s legitimate rights and interests are fully guaranteed.”
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