A group of human rights campaigners yesterday urged the public to show their support for Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) by writing him a New Year or birthday card, adding that they would present another report on Lee’s case at a UN meeting in February.
Lee was on Nov. 28 sentenced to five years in prison by the Yueyang City Intermediate People’s Court in China’s Hunan Province, which found him guilty of subversion of state power for holding online political lectures and helping the families of jailed Chinese dissidents.
Lee went missing on March 19 after entering Zhuhai, China, from Macau. More than two months later the Chinese Ministry of State Security announced that he had been arrested on a charge of subversion of state power.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
His wife, Lee Ching-yu (李淨瑜), and human rights advocates have been seeking his release by appealing to different organizations, including the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.
“Since Lee Ming-che was sentenced to five years in prison last month, I have not yet received any official documents about his prosecution and conviction,” Lee Ching-yu told a news conference at the legislature in Taipei yesterday.
As they do not know where he is being held, they can only mail the cards to the place where he was last seen — a detention center in Hunan’s Changsha County, she said.
His birthday is on Feb. 25 and people can write him a New Year or birthday card to lend him some warmth in such hard times, she said.
They are not sure whether the cards would reach Lee Ming-che, but Taiwanese should continue supporting him and let Beijing know that they will not succumb to Chinese pressure, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) said.
Lee Ching-yu has demonstrated admirable efforts and resolution in appealing for her husband’s release, but she has become the target of a smear campaign that says she is merely paving the way for a political career, former DPP Legislator Wang Li-ping (王麗萍) said, lamenting society’s lack of support for Lee Ming-che’s case.
People willing to support their cause can mail the cards themselves or send them to the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, association secretary-general Chiu Ee-ling (邱伊翎) said.
Lee Ming-che’s supporters had made a report about his case to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances in Geneva, Switzerland, in September, and are to present an updated report on his status to the group in February, Chiu said, adding that the group has not yet set a date for the presentation.
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