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MAC urges Beijing to release Taiwanese activist, Chinese dissidents

2018/07/09 21:45:04

CNA file photo

Taipei, July 9 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Monday urged Beijing to release Taiwanese democracy advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) and other detained Chinese dissidents, including Liu Xia (劉霞), the widow of the late Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波), who has been kept under house arrest for eight years.

The statement came on the third Anniversary of the 709 Crackdown, which saw hundreds of Chinese human rights lawyers and activists detained nationwide on July 9, 2015.

Noting that demands for freedom, democracy, human rights and political reform have been increasing among the Chinese people, the MAC statement said Beijing should squarely face up to these new developments.

As freedom of speech, freedom of thought and political freedom are universal values, China's leaders should effectively respond to their people's calls for such freedoms by improving the human rights situation in the country, MAC said.

It noted that Liu Xia has been in poor health both physically and mentally and that the Chinese Communist authorities should respect her personal wishes and give her the freedom to arrange for medical treatment as soon as possible, in response to the concerns of the international community.

Meanwhile, the council again urged China to release the Taiwanese democracy activist Lee, who has been detained since March 2017 and sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of "subversion of state power" in November last year. Lee's family and colleagues have insisted he was merely sharing Taiwan's democratic experiences with Chinese people and should not have been locked up for that. MAC asked that the Chinese authorities ensure his safe return to Taiwan.

(By Chai Sze-chia and Ko Lin)