Sat, Jan 20, 2018 - Page 1 News List

EU urges Beijing to free activists, including Lee

PROPER TREATMENT:The European Parliament called on China to ensure adequate medical care and regular, unrestricted visits by relatives and lawyers for detainees

Staff writer, with CNA, BRUSSELS

Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che, left, stands during his trial at the Yueyang City Intermediate People’s Court in China’s Hunan Province on Nov. 28 last year.

Screengrab from the Yueyang City Intermediate People’s Court’s microblog

The European Parliament on Thursday passed a resolution calling for the Chinese government to drop the charges against several human rights activists, including Taiwanese Lee Ming-che (李明哲), and for them to be released.

It was the second time that it has called for Lee’s release. The first was in July last year after he had been detained in China for more than three months for alleged “subversion of state power.”

Since then, Lee has been convicted and sentenced to five years in prison and the deprivation of his political rights for two years.

In Thursday’s resolution, the European Parliament also addressed the cases of Chinese activists Wu Gan (吳淦) and Xie Yang (謝陽), as well as Tibetan activist Tashi Wangchuk and Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who the Dalai Lama has named as the 11th Panchen Lama.

The resolution stated the parliament’s concern over the Chinese government’s approach to human rights activists and lawyers, and called for the release of Wu, Lee and Wangchuk.

Pending the release of the detainees, the Chinese government should give them access to adequate medical care and allow regular, unrestricted visits by their relatives and lawyers, the resolution said.

Furthermore, the detainees should not be subjected to torture or any other form of ill-treatment, the European Parliament said, calling on China to guarantee that defenders of human rights could carry out their work in the country without fear of reprisals.

It also urged China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

In Taipei yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked the European Parliament on behalf of the Taiwanese government for passing the resolution.

Ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said that it would continue to cooperate with relevant government agencies to support Lee’s family and the “Lee Ming-che rescue team,” an alliance formed by non-governmental organizations in Taiwan.

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