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Detained Taiwanese's wife headed to China for ruling in his case

2017/11/26 18:20:59

Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), the wife of Taiwanese nongovernmental organization (NGO) worker Lee Ming-che (李明哲) who has been tried in China for subverting the state/CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 26 (CNA) Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), the wife of Taiwanese nongovernmental organization (NGO) worker Lee Ming-che (李明哲) who has been tried in China for subverting the state, will head to China on Monday to hear the verdict in the case in person.

China confirmed on Nov. 24 that it will deliver its verdict in the case on Nov. 28 at 9 a.m. According to Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Lee Ming-che's family members were only informed of the date earlier the same day.

Lee Ching-yu and Lee Ming-che's mother Kuo Hsiu-chin (郭秀秦) traveled to China separately to attend Lee Ming-che's only trial hearing on Sept. 11, when he made his first public appearance since being arrested by Chinese authorities on March 19.

During the trip, Lee Ching-yu was accompanied by two members of the "Lee Ming-che rescue team," an alliance established by local NGOs, including Hsiao I-min (蕭逸民), head of the Appeals Center under the Taiwan-based Judicial Reform Foundation.

Taiwan Association for Human Rights Secretary-General Chiu E-ling (邱伊翎), also a member of the rescue team, said on Sunday that NGO workers won't be able to go with Lee Ching-yu this time because the late notice left them no time to prepare a permit to enter China.

Lee Ching-yu will be accompanied by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Wang Li-ping (王麗萍), the daughter of former DPP chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德) Shih Chia (施笳), and two officials with the Straits Exchange Foundation, according to the MAC.

The MAC said the group will fly from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to Huanghua International Airport in Changsha on Monday on a flight scheduled to depart at 3:50 p.m. and arrive in China at 6:35 p.m.

Kuo Hsiu-chin has decided not to make the trip to the court to hear the ruling, the MAC said.

China said in May that Lee Ming-che had been arrested on charges of subversion of state power. At the hearing at the Yueyang City Intermediate People's Court in Hunan Province on Sept. 11, Lee pleaded guilty in what was seen as a forced confession to that charge.

Chiu said Lee Ming-che did nothing wrong in sharing pro-democracy ideas with friends in China through online messaging platforms and that it was China that had belied its claims to be a country governed by the rule of law in its handling of this case.

If China gives Lee Ming-che a heavy sentence, it will simply show itself to be an uncivilized country that has no respect for the rule of law, Chiu said.

The MAC said Sunday that it has notified its counterpart in China that they should ensure the group's entry into China and their safety during their stay, and also urged China to allow Lee Ming-che's wife to visit him.

Taiwanese business associations in Yueyang and a Taiwanese lawyer retained by the MAC will provide Lee Ching-yu with any assistance as needed, the MAC said.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Shih Hsiu-chuan)
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