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Home The News News Premier urges Lee Ming-che’s swift release by China

Premier urges Lee Ming-che’s swift release by China

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Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday called on the Chinese authorities to quickly release human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) and said he has ordered agencies to prioritize work to facilitate his return to Taiwan.

“Lee works at a non-profit organization as a human rights advocate. There is no way he could subvert the Chinese government,” Lai said. “I felt sorry for Lee being forced to confess at a trial in a manner nobody could accept.”

Lee on Monday pleaded guilty to a charge of “subversion of state power” at a hearing at the Yueyang City Intermediate People’s Court in Hunan Province.

He admitted to intentionally disseminating information attacking the Chinese Communist Party.

After Lee spoke, the court said it would announce Lee’s sentence at a future date.

Judicial Reform Foundation executive director Kao Jung-chih (高榮志) late on Monday said the court proceedings were scripted, and everybody, from the judge and prosecutors to the lawyers and defendant, were “staring at scripts, reading,” indicating that “everything was prearranged.”

Kao said that the timing of the proceedings was deliberately set for Monday to stop Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), from traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, on Sept. 10 and reporting on her husband’s case at a meeting of the UN working group on arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances.

The proceedings disqualified Lee Ming-che as a victim of enforced disappearance, which international law treats as a crime against humanity, Kao said.

Lee Ming-che, a staff member at Wenshan Community College in Taipei and a former Democratic Progressive Party worker, was detained by Chinese authorities after entering China via Macau on March 19.

The Chinese government in May said that he had been arrested on the charge of subverting state power.

Additional reporting by Lauly Li


Source: Taipei Times - 2017/09/13



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Newsflash


Members of the Youth Alliance Against Media Monsters protest outside the Executive Yuan in Taipei yesterday, calling on Premier Sean Chen to review the buyout plan for Next Media Group’s four outlets in Taiwan and protect media freedom.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Several dozen students yesterday protested in front of the Executive Yuan, calling on the government to carefully review the plan to buy Next Media Group’s (壹傳媒集團) four Taiwanese outlets, to avoid the concentration of media in the hands of the few and to protect freedom of the press.

The demonstration was held one day before the consortium led by Chinatrust Charity Foundation (中信慈善基金會) chairman Jeffrey Koo Jr (辜仲諒), Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團) chairman William Wong (王文淵) and Want Want China Times Group (旺旺中時集團) chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明) are to sign a contract to buy the media outlets from the Hong Kong-based Next Media.