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European Parliament again urges China to release Taiwanese activist

2018/01/19 12:36:26

Image taken from Pixabay

Brussels, Jan. 18 (CNA) The European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution on Thursday, calling for the Chinese government to drop the charges against several human rights activists, including Taiwanese Lee Ming-che (李明哲), and for them to be released.

This marks the second time that the EP has called for Lee's release, the first being in July last year after he had been detained in China for more than three months for alleged "subversion of state power."

Since then, Lee has been convicted of the charge and sentenced to five years in prison and two years deprivation of his political rights.

In its latest resolution, the European Parliament, the directly elected legislature of the European Union, addressed the cases of Chinese activists Wu Gan (吴淦) and Xie Yang (謝陽), Taiwanese activist Lee, and Tibetan activist Tashi Wangchuk and monk Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.

The resolution stated the EP's concern over the Chinese government's approach to human rights activists and lawyers, and called for the release of Wu, Lee and Wangchuk, all of whom are in custody.

Pending the release of the detainees, the Chinese government should give them access to adequate medical care and allow regular, unrestricted visits by their relatives and lawyers, the EP said in its resolution.

Furthermore, the detainees should not be subjected to torture or any other form of ill-treatment, the EP said, calling on China to guarantee that defenders of human rights could carry out their work in the country without fear of reprisals.

The parliament also urged China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to sign and ratify the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

On Friday, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) thanked the EP, on behalf of the government, for passing the resolution.

MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said the ministry will continue to cooperate with the relevant government agencies to support Lee's family and the "Lee Ming-che rescue team," an alliance formed by non-governmental organizations in Taiwan.

(By Kuan-lin Liu, Tang Pei-chun and Elaine Hou)
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