Wed, Apr 12, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Legislators condemn Chinese detention

RESOLUTION:The DPP and the NPP were at odds on whether to demand that the government hold an international news conference on Lee Ming-che’s detention

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the New Power Party (NPP) caucuses yesterday issued statements denouncing the Chinese government for detaining Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) and refusing to disclose details about his detention.

Prior to a cross-caucus negotiation yesterday morning in an attempt to hash out a common statement endorsed by all four legislative caucuses, Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said that China’s refusal to allow Lee’s family members to visit him “falls short of humanitarian standards.”

Insofar as the Chinese government has been touting the idea of the two countries “belonging to the same family,” it should at least inform Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), of his whereabouts and situation, Su said.

During the negotiation, the DPP and the NPP were at odds over the wording of a joint statement, with the NPP insisting that it include a demand that the government hold an international press conference to declare its stance on the issue.

The legislature ended up passing two statements, with the two other caucuses — the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) — not raising any objections.

In its statement, the NPP condemned the Chinese government for refusing to disclose where Lee Ming-che is being detained and not allowing his family to visit him in accordance with the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement (海峽兩岸共同打擊犯罪及司法互助協議), and for rescinding Lee Ching-yu’s permit to travel to China.

“While Lee Ming-che’s family and non-governmental organizations are exerting all efforts to save him, the government’s passiveness has left the family in a helpless state, and stirred disquiet and rage among the citizenry,” the statement said.

The NPP caucus urged the legislature to support a resolution condemning the Chinese government, demanding Lee Ming-che’s immediate release, and requiring the government to provide full assistance to his family and give them a daily progress report on its efforts to rescue him.

“The government should also hold an international news conference as soon as possible to make the nation’s stance known to the global community,” the NPP said.

The DPP statement accused the Chinese Communist Party of infringing on human rights by arbitrarily arresting and detaining Lee Ming-che.

It demanded that Beijing reveal where he is being held, the crimes he is accused of, and called for his immediate release.

It also urged the government to communicate with the Chinese government to ensure his safety and assist his family.

While the DPP statement did not demand that the government hold an international news conference, DPP caucus chief executive Yeh Yi-chin (葉宜津) said the government should “affirm to the international community that Taiwan is unwavering in its stance for democracy, liberty and human rights, and call on the world to support Taiwan’s determination to safeguard them.”

Yeh later said that the DPP caucus was not against holding an international news conference, but believed that the timing should be decided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs rather than ordered by the legislature.

KMT caucus convener Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) said that implementation of the Cross-Strait Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement has been stalled because of a freeze in cross-strait relations under President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration.

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