Sun, Feb 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

UN group to discuss pursuing Lee Ming-che’s case

By Peng Wan-hsin  /  Staff reporter

European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights chairman Pier Antonio Panzeri, second right, is joined by Lee Ching-yu, right, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday as he holds up a banner reading “Freedom of speech, Lee Ming-che is innocent.”

Photo: CNA, courtesy of the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium

The UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances is set to deliberate whether to pursue the case of jailed Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) after learning about his situation, a member of Lee’s rescue team said.

Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), on Wednesday presented her husband’s case at a convention of the UN working group in Brussels, detailing Beijing’s refusal to allow his family to visit or contact him, Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Chiu Ee-ling (邱伊翎) said on Friday.

The working group is to discuss whether to keep Lee Ming-che’s case or forward it to other UN working groups, Chiu said.

Lee Ching-yu and other members of the rescue team, including Chiu and Covenants Watch chief executive Huang Yi-bee (黃怡碧), talked with staff from the UN working group for 40 minutes, the association said.

The rescue team later visited several embassies in Europe to request international support, it said.

“The UN working group was most concerned about where Lee Ming-che is being jailed,” Chiu said.

Given that Lee Ming-che has not seen his family since he was transferred to Chishan Prison in China’s Hunan Province and that an official document notifying his family of his whereabouts lacked an official Chinese government seal, “no one can be certain of where he really is,” Chiu said.

In addition to Lee Ming-che’s location, Chiu said that the UN working group also showed concern for Lee Ching-yu.

“A group member who had also been incarcerated for political reasons told Lee Ching-yu that her husband’s situation is relatable and that they hope she can continue her efforts,” Chiu said.

Lee Ching-yu was late last month prevented from boarding a flight bound for Hunan to visit her husband, who was on Nov. 28 last year found guilty of subversion of state power and sentenced to five years in prison by a Chinese court for holding online political lectures and helping the families of jailed dissidents.

Lee Ming-che on March 19 last year went missing after entering Zhuhai in China’s Guangdong Province via Macau. China did not announce his arrest for 10 days.

Lee Ching-yu received a return package of warm clothes she tried sending to the prison for her husband, Chiu said.

It is inhumane and baffling for Beijing to refuse to even receive clothes on Lee Ming-che’s behalf, she added.

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