The daughter of a Chinese medical researcher condemned to death on charges that he spied for Taiwan said yesterday that her father had not received a fair trial and should not be executed.
Ran Chen said her family was told on Nov. 18 that the Supreme People’s Court had approved the execution of Wo Weihan (伍維漢), who was convicted last year of spying.
Chen said family members were told to arrange to see him as soon as possible, usually a sign of pending execution.
She said she feared the execution could take place as early as today, when the family has arranged to see Wo at Beijing’s Intermediate People’s Court.
“We don’t know what will happen,” Chen said.
The court said yesterday it did not have any information on Wo’s case.
Chen, an Austrian citizen pursuing graduate studies in Berkley, California, said Wo was convicted mainly on the basis of a confession that he later recanted. She said the scant evidence brought by prosecutors never proved the spying charges.
A copy of Wo’s conviction said his alleged crimes included revealing the health status of an unnamed high-ranking Chinese official. China considers information about the health of leaders to be a state secret.
Wo was also convicted of passing on data about missile control systems, information Chen said had been published in a magazine and was only later classified as secret.
Wo was accused of passing the information through a middle man to a group linked to the Taiwanese intelligence agencies.
Amnesty International called on authorities to block the execution.
“Available information suggests that Wo Weihan did not receive a fair trial according to international standards,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific director.
Trained as a medical researcher, Wo ran a medical equipment supply company on the outskirts of Beijing and frequently traveled abroad. He was detained in January 2005, but not permitted to see a lawyer until a year later.
Wo has been held in a prison hospital since March 2005, shortly after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
He was sentenced to death by the Beijing court in May last year after a closed trial.
His appeal was denied on Feb. 29 this year and his sentence automatically forwarded to the Supreme Court for approval.
Although courts have been ordered to apply the death penalty for only the most egregious crimes, China remains the world’s leading executioner of prisoners, including many convicted for nonviolent crimes.
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
CAUTION: Taiwan had zero cases of death from food poisoning for six years until last year, when two people died after eating wildlife, an FDA official said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged the public not to eat wildlife or unidentified wild plants, as they could be fatal, with nearly 7,000 people affected by food poisoning last year, including two deaths due to wildlife consumption. The number of food poisoning incidents increased by nearly 50 percent last year, from 398 cases involving 4,616 people in the previous year to 503 cases involving 6,944 people, FDA data showed. That figure was the second-highest in history, the FDA said, adding that the highest number was recorded in 1997, with 7,235 people. Among the 503 cases, 87 were food poisoning clusters