Sun, Nov 11, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Groups urge official support for Lee Ming-che

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Lee Ching-yu, left, weeps at a news conference in Taipei yesterday, where she said that her applications to visit her husband, activist Lee Ming-che, in his Chinese prison has been denied for two consecutive months.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Civic group members yesterday urged the government to speak out in the international community against China’s disregard for human rights and its treatment of Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who is being detained in China.

They joined Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), at a news conference in Taipei to raise awareness about how the Chinese government has denied her application to visit her husband for two months in a row, amid rumors that Lee Ming-che had been transferred back to Chishan Prison in Hunan Province after being moved to a correctional facility in Beijing.

Lee Ching-yu said the Mainland Affairs Council on Friday afternoon informed her that her request to visit her husband next week had been denied.

Her request to visit him last month was also denied, Lee Ching-yu said, adding that she last saw her husband on Sept. 10.

Lee Ming-che, who went missing on March 19 last year, after entering China from Macau, at a trial in Hunan in September last year pleaded guilty to the charge of “subversion of state power,” in what many said was a forced confession.

He was sentenced to five years in prison.

China acted in disregard of the UN Human Rights Standards in Arrest and Detention by not allowing Lee Ming-che’s family to visit him and transferring him between prisons without informing his family, Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Chiu Ee-ling (邱伊翎) said.

The Rescue Lee Ming-che Team, formed by a coalition of civic groups, is very concerned about Lee’s transfers, Chiu said, calling on the government to put more effort into protesting China’s breach of Lee Ming-che’s rights and on the international community to express concern about the issue.

She said the government could have used the UN’s Universal Periodic Review of human rights in China, which ended on Thursday, as an opportunity to deliver a report to the UN to make clear its stance on Lee Ming-che’s forced disappearance and baseless detention, as well as other disappearances and detentions of Taiwanese in China.

Officials should use the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, which starts tomorrow and ends on Sunday, to raise awareness about Lee Ming-che’s situation, Chiu said.

The government has been prudent to avoid provoking Beijing, but its reluctance to speak out about human rights abuses could mislead China into thinking that Taiwan has grown complacent, thus encouraging its bullying tactics, Covenant Watch director Lin Hsin-yi (林欣怡) said

Covenant Watch on Friday night informed Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights and diplomats concerned about Lee Ming-che that Lee Ching-yu’s application to visit her husband had been denied, she added.

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