Mon, May 15, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Group seeks US support to release Lee Ming-che

By Lin Liang-sheng and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Lee Ching-yu, wife of detained Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che, yesterday departs for the US from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Photo: Yao Chieh-hsiu, Taipei Times

A group seeking the release of Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who has been detained in China for 57 days, yesterday flew to Washington to seek help from US officials and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The group said Chinese authorities have yet to provide information about Lee’s condition or whereabouts, adding that Taiwan’s requests for information have gone unanswered.

The group said it is hoping that international involvement can help speed up the process, giving the example of the international community putting pressure on Taiwan during White Terror era.

China has released a statement through China’s Taiwan Affairs Office saying that Lee is under investigation for “threatening national security,” the group said.

“As anyone who believes in the value of human rights would know, sharing Taiwan’s experience with democracy, showing concern for China’s democratization and helping manage funds to help poor families do not constitute a threat to national security,” it added.

The only information about Lee came from Lee Chun-min (李俊敏) who said Lee Ming-che was arrested in Guangdong Province by officials eager to show they were enforcing a new law governing NGOs.

The group said it understands and forgives the government’s inability to take further action given the lack of communication between Taiwan and China.

It said it is not using public funds or government sponsorship for the trip to Washington.

“The situation is unclear and the road ahead is bumpy, but we are not giving up hope,” the group said, whose members, along with Lee Ming-che’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), are to spend four to five days in the US.

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