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Trial in China of Taiwanese activist unfair: civil group

2017/09/11 20:27:09

The Yueyang Intermediate People's Court

Yueyang, China, Sept. 11 (CNA) The trial in China on a charge of subversion of state power against Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲) was unfair, a representative of a civil group advocating Lee's release blasted in the wake of Lee's trial Monday at a court in Yueyang City, Hunan Province.

"Lee was not given the right to remain silent in court, leading him to have to humiliate himself and say 'thanks' to law-enforcement departments at the court," said Hsiao I-ming (蕭逸民), head of the Appeals Center under the Taiwan-based Judicial Reform Foundation.

Furthermore, Hsiao continued, the lawyers assigned to Lee by the Chinese authorities did not defend him substantially. This violated the principles of international law, and was also not in line with the principles of China's Criminal Procedure Law, he said.

Hsiao stressed that "pursuing democracy and freedom is not a crime," and that "it is a basic human right to advocate democracy and freedom of the Western world through the Internet."

Taiwanese people have the right to share democracy and freedom, so have the Chinese, according to Hsiao.

"Those cannot be regarded as committing a crime," he contended, urging international friends and governments of different countries to jointly save Lee Ming-che, who he described as a "prisoner of conscience among political prisoners."

Hsiao is part of an entourage headed by Lee's wife Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), who flew to Hunan the previous day to attend Monday's procedure at the Yueyang Intermediate People's Court, at which her husband pleaded guilty to "subversion of state power."

A staff member at Wenshan Community College in Taipei and a former Democratic Progressive Party worker, Lee went missing after entering China via Macao on March 19 and was later confirmed to have been detained by the Chinese authorities.

The Chinese government indicated in May that he had been arrested on charges of subverting state power.

(By Lawrence Chiu and Elizabeth Hsu)