His sons, who asked not to be identified, said Yang and their mother moved to Australia because they wanted them to be brought up in “the most beautiful country in the world, where the rule of law is strong and human rights are guaranteed.”
“But now he is without human rights, and his situation is critical,” they said.
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs officials on consular visits have reported that Yang’s health has rapidly declined in the past four weeks, noting he now has trouble standing and that he had collapsed several times.
Chinese medical officials have identified a kidney cyst, but his family worries it is being left untreated.
“The risk of being left to die from medical maltreatment is especially clear to our father because he has seen it happen to his friends,” Yang’s sons wrote.
Dozens of political prisoners have died in Chinese jails in the past few decades after being denied treatment for curable diseases.
Yang’s sons urged Albanese to do everything he could while he was in Beijing to get Yang out of jail.
“We ask that you make clear that it is not possible to stabilise the bilateral relationship with a government that is holding an Australian citizen just a few kilometres south of where you will be hosted,” they said.
Wong said it was clear from the letter that Yang had a strong love for his country and was greatly missed by his sons.
“Since Dr Yang was detained, the Australian government has called for basic standards of justice, procedural fairness and humane treatment to be afforded to Dr Yang, including medical treatment, in accordance with international norms and China’s legal obligations,” Wong said.
Yang’s memories have trickled back to him while he spends endless hours in the dark walking between the hole that makes up his toilet and the one that delivers his food.
“I remembered leaving my home in Sydney to go to China,” he said in one letter released from prison. “My youngest son, who was in junior high school, suddenly appeared on the balcony and pleaded, ‘Can you stay, Daddy?’”
It has been more than two years since Yang had his closed-door trial in Beijing. Any reprieve is unlikely to come during Albanese’s visit. In October, the deadline for that verdict was extended for another three months to January 9.