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Wife of rights activist jailed in China barred from prison visits

2019/01/28 18:48:31

Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜/CNA file photo)

Taipei, Jan. 28 (CNA) Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), wife of Taiwanese democracy advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲), has been barred from visiting her husband jailed in China's Hunan Province for a three-month period, the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights (TACHR) said Monday.

According to the TACHR, Lee has received a notice from Chishan (赤山) Prison informing her that she will not be able to visit her husband during the period between Jan. 23 and April 22, on the grounds that she seriously distorted the facts following a Dec. 18 visit.

"Your distortion of the facts has disrupted the practice of normal legal affairs in the prison and has hampered the reform work on Lee Ming-che," the notice reads.

Citing the prison's visitation regulations, the notice said it was decided that "Lee Ching-yu was barred from meeting Lee Ming-che for three months."

The Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) confirmed Friday that Lee has recently been again denied approval to visit her husband in the prison, where he is being held, without explanation.

A week following Lee's latest visit to her husband in China, she held a news conference in Taipei Dec. 24, accusing Chishan Prison of treating her husband inhumanely, having frozen his bank account, which makes him unable to buy food and clothes.

On Dec. 26, Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), spokesman of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, fought back and lashed out at Lee for her remarks about her husband's treatment in the prison, attacking her for "spreading politically motivated misinformation" and that "her mean comments have disrupted the normal practice of legal affairs in the prison."

A source warned at that time that Ma's harsh rhetoric might suggest that more difficulties lie ahead for Lee Ching-yu to gain approval to visit her husband in the future.

(By Chai Sze-chia and Flor Wang)