A vigil that is to be held in Taipei to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre is also to draw attention to Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che’s (李明哲) detention in China on charges of “subversion of state power,” the event’s organizers said on Monday.
The vigil is to mention Lee and underline that his case is not isolated, but is one of many amid deteriorating human rights in China, Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Chiu E-ling (邱伊翎) said.
The vigil, organized by the Taiwanese Students Working Group for Promoting China’s Democratization, the association and the New School for Democracy, is to take place in Liberty Plaza between the National Theater and Concert Hall on Sunday.
The organizers said China’s oppression of human rights advocates has not abated 28 years after the massacre, a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing on June 4, 1989.
The Chinese government has stepped up its surveillance and oppression of its citizens, with the aim of suppressing the development of Chinese civil society and continuing its autocratic regime, the organizers said.
“As Taiwanese, we should not delude ourselves into thinking that China’s dictatorship and autocracy will not affect us as long as we close our doors and mind our own business,” they said.
The association plans to travel to Europe to seek support for Lee’s swift release, Chiu said.
The trip would ideally take place next month or in September, when the UN Human Rights Council and the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance are to convene, Chiu said.
The trip to Europe was suggested by Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), before she left to visit the US on May 14, Chiu said.
A plan is still in the works, she said, adding that the final decision would be made by Lee Ching-yu.
The association said its next step would be to launch a new petition to get more people involved in Lee Ming-che’s case.
While some people have criticized Lee Ming-che for going to China in the first place, a petition would help people better understand the problem, Chiu said.
“Through public petitions, we hope to raise awareness of this issue and to keep members of the public informed of the facts,” she added.
Lee Ming-che, a staff member at Wenshan Community College in Taipei and a former Democratic Progressive Party staffer, went missing on March 19 after entering China via Macau and was later confirmed to have been detained by the Chinese authorities.
China on Friday announced that Lee Ming-che had been arrested on charges of “subversion of state power.”
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman An Fengshan (安峰山) said that an investigation into the case found that Lee Ming-che had frequently traveled to and from China since 2012, and had worked with Chinese to develop plans of action and establish an illegal ring aimed at subverting Beijing.
An did not provide further details.
Beijing has refused to discuss Lee Ming-che’s case with Taiwanese authorities and has ignored requests to allow his relatives to visit him.
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