Chinese dissident heads to Australia: reports

ABC News

Last Update: Saturday, July 31, 2004. 9:25pm (AEST)

Chinese dissident heads to Australia: reports

A Chinese dissident and former head of the Beijing University's criminal law department has reportedly fled to Australia and is seeking asylum.

A US-based rights group, the Free China Movement, says Yuan Hongbing, left China for Sydney with a group of scholars from the Guizhou Normal University 10 days ago.

The movement's executive director, Lian Shunde, says Mr Yuan was jailed for six months in 1994 for participating in activities promoting rule of law and freedom.

In a statement released by the rights group, Mr Yuan says he had been secretly writing books about the Communist Party's abuse of power when he learned authorities had issued an order to collect evidence against him for arrest.

(08/03/2004 11:53)