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No explanation over prison transfer: wife of jailed Taiwanese activist

2018/11/01 20:58:34

Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜/CNA file photo)

Taipei, Nov. 1 (CNA) The wife of Taiwanese democracy activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲) said Thursday she has yet to be told the reason her husband was transferred back to Hunan Province, China after being moved to a prison in Hebei last month.

Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜) told CNA that she was informed by Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) late Wednesday that Lee had been returned to Chishan Prison in Hunan, though no explanation was given.

Lee, a Taiwanese democracy advocate, has been detained in China since March 2017 and was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of "subversion of state power" in November last year.

During this time, he was imprisoned at Chishan prison, but on Oct. 19 a Taiwanese business association in Hunan said it was notified by the Chinese government that Lee had been transferred to Yancheng Prison in Hebei Province.

According to the association, the Chinese authorities did not provide any further explanation.

Earlier in the day, MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said at a press conference that the council was informed of Lee's prison transfer, after receiving confirmation from the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Taiwanese business association in Hunan.

Chiu said it had asked the authorities in Beijing to explain why Lee had been moved twice in such a short period of time, while expressing the government's displeasure over his treatment.

He also urged Beijing to protect Lee's basic human rights, and called on authorities there to allow family members to visit him in prison as soon as possible.

The semi-official SEF is responsible for handling contacts with China in the absence of official ties.

(By Miao Zong-han and Ko Lin)