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China again denies visit request by wife of jailed rights advocate

2019/01/25 18:34:02

Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜/CNA file photo)

Taipei, Jan. 25 (CNA) Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), the wife of jailed Taiwanese democracy advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲), has again been denied approval to visit her husband in the Hunan province prison in which he is being held, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) confirmed Friday.

"Lee's application to visit her husband was again recently rejected by prison authorities without an explanation," SEF spokeswoman Kuan An-lu (管安露) said.

Kuan suggested that the prison may have turned down Lee's request to visit her husband earlier this month because of the heavy traffic expected in China ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday.

But she urged the Chinese side to fully protect the rights of the imprisoned person and his family and said the SEF will continue to help his family members relay their concerns to Chishan Prison.

Lee was repeatedly denied visits to her imprisoned husband starting in September 2018 until December, when she was eventually allowed to see him in Chishan Prison.

Lee said at the time that her husband was in poor health and being treated inhumanely in the prison, and that he was unable to buy the food and clothes he needed to withstand the prison's conditions because his bank account was frozen.

Sources indicated, however, that Lee Ming-che's bank account was unfrozen recently, enabling him to purchase additional food and clothes.

Lee Ming-che was arrested in Guangdong Province in March 2017 on charges of "subversion of state power," and was sentenced eight months later to five years behind bars.

(By Miao Chung-han and Flor Wang)
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