Sat, Aug 04, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Rights groups urge firms, nations to resist Beijing

By Peng Wan-hsin and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A member of the civic group Lee Ming-che Rescue Team ties banners that read “Freedom of speech, Lee Ming-che is innocent” to railing outside the Presidential Office Building in Taipei on March 19.

Photo: CNA

A group of 30 domestic and international human rights groups, including the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, yesterday released a joint statement urging foreign governments and businesses to heed their conscience and not become “hit men” for China’s authoritarian regime.

On the surface, the Chinese government’s demand that international airlines change their references to Taiwan only upsets Taiwanese and foreigners who sympathize with Taiwan, but in reality, a bigger problem lies beneath, the statement said.

Beijing is attempting to expand its power beyond its borders and its behavior is becoming increasingly unrestrained, it said.

Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) was arrested and detained by Chinese authorities when he entered China in March last year, and he was on Nov. 28 last year sentenced to five years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power” because he promoted democracy and human rights on the Internet, it added.

A rising number of Taiwanese fraud suspects who have allegedly committed crimes in other nations are being sent to China for trial at Beijing’s request, the statement said.

If Beijing asks other nations or airlines to send Taiwanese who it suspects of “inciting subversion of state power” or of contravening its “Anti-Secession” Law to China to face trial, would they also cooperate, the human rights groups asked.

China’s human rights record has worsened over the past few years and its “one country, two systems” promise to Hong Kong has also completely vanished, they said.

Beijing has also spared no effort to suppress Taiwan, forcing more nations to cut diplomatic ties and even directly impinging upon the freedom of speech, personal freedoms and right to a fair trial of Taiwanese, it said.

They called on foreign governments to condemn China’s expansion of its jurisdiction and its persecution of human rights defenders, and to ask Beijing to make improvements at this year’s UN Universal Periodic Review of China.

This story has been viewed 17746 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top