Thu, Sep 05, 2019 - Page 3 News List

TSU protests inaction over China arrest of Taiwanese

MUTUAL ASSISTANCE?A MAC official said that it has asked local law enforcement to ask Chinese authorities about the man’s location, but there has been no response

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) member Pan Ho-hsun, left, and former TSU legislator Chou Ni-an, center, lead a demonstration outside the offices of the Mainland Affairs Council in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

Members of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday demanded that the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) to do more to assist Morrison Lee (李孟居), who has reportedly been detained by Chinese authorities after participating in demonstrations in Hong Kong.

Lee on Aug. 18 flew to Hong Kong and two days later traveled to Shenzhen, China, where he was reportedly detained.

There has been no contact with Lee since Aug. 20.

TSU member Pan Ho-hsun (潘厚勳) yesterday led a group of protesters in castigating the council for not doing enough to ascertain Lee’s whereabouts, establish communication and provide legal assistance.

In addition, two Hong Kongers studying in Taiwanese universities who returned to Hong Kong have been arrested for taking part in pro-democracy protests, he said, adding that their classmates have called on the government to assist in their return to school.

Lee was reportedly seen taking photographs at demonstrations during the two days he was in Hong Kong.

He is an adviser to Pingtung County’s Fangliao Township (枋寮) and is a board member of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance.

Lee has always worked for private companies and is not a member of any political party, friends have said.

Taiwan United Nations Alliance chairman Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) on Tuesday at a news conference expressed concern for Lee’s safety and denounced the Chinese government for detaining him and infringing on his rights.

“People in Taiwan have freedom of expression and thought, but when traveling to Hong Kong and China they can be arrested for talking about sensitive issues,” former TSU legislator Chou Ni-an (周倪安) said yesterday.

“The situation there is like the White Terror era, when Taiwan was under martial law and the freedom and liberty of citizens was canceled,” she said.

Under a cross-strait mutual legal assistance agreement, Chinese authorities are required to contact their Taiwanese counterparts when a Taiwanese national is taken into custody to ensure their safety and uphold their legal rights, but “China has not done so and our government has been too soft in dealing with these cases,” Chou said.

The protesters later handed a “statement of recommended actions” to MAC Department of Legal Affairs section head Yen Ho-ching (顏和慶).

The council has requested that Taiwanese law enforcement agencies communicate with Chinese authorities to ascertain Lee’s whereabouts, Yen said, but added that there has been no response to the request.

Yen provided no further information about Lee’s case.

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