Australian leader slams Hong Kong authorities over arrest warrants for activists in Australia

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday criticized Hong Kong authorities for their prosecution of two pro-democracy activists who live in Australia.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said on Tuesday that eight pro-democracy activists who now live in the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia will be prosecuted for life for alleged security breaches. nationwide, dismissing criticism that the decision to have them arrested was dangerous. previous.

Albanese said his government was concerned and disappointed by Hong Kong authorities issuing arrest warrants for Australian citizen Kevin Yam and Australian permanent resident Ted Hui.

“I am of course disappointed. I said we would cooperate with China as much as possible. But we will disagree where we must. And we disagree with China on these actions,” Albanese told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Albanese also said he disagreed with China over the detention of Australian journalist Cheng Lei, who is yet to hear a verdict after being tried in March last year for national security charges.

He said Cheng was being held “without proper procedure”.

“We continue to defend Australia’s interests. We will continue to do so. We will disagree where we must. We will engage in our national interest. And this overnight decision is an example of where the “Australia and China have different approaches to these issues. And we will stand up for our values,” Albanese said.

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