Activists meet with Pelosi at Taiwan's National Human Rights Museum

08/03/2022 08:20 PM
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Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Taipei, Aug. 3 (CNA) Human rights and pro-democracy activists from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China met with U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi during her visit Wednesday afternoon to Taiwan's National Human Rights Museum.

Pelosi and her delegation of five Democratic lawmakers arrived around 2:40 p.m. at the museum in New Taipei's Xindian District, which formerly served as a military detention center for political dissidents during the martial law period (1949-1987).

During the visit, the lawmakers held a one-hour meeting with activists including Taiwanese NGO worker Lee Ming-che (李明哲), dissident Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kei (林榮基), Tiananmen Square protest leader Wu'er Kaixi (吾爾開希), and Kelsang Gyaltsen Bawa, chairman of the Taipei-based Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Afterwards, Wu'er Kaixi said he had told Pelosi about the experiences of National Human Rights Commission Chairwoman Chen Chu (陳菊), who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for her pro-democracy activism during a government crackdown in 1979.

Meanwhile, Lam said he had raised concerns during the meeting about the fate of young Hong Kong activists who are now unable to leave the territory, as well as those who made it to Taiwan but were unable to gain citizenship.

"I hope the United States can help these young people who resisted," he said.

Kelsang said he had told Pelosi of the damage caused to Tibet by the policies of Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平), which he said encouraged "national assimilation" and the elimination of Tibetan religion and culture.

In a social media post after the visit, Pelosi said that her delegation had toured the museum in the company of former Taiwanese political prisoners and then met with a group of civil society leaders.

"We came to listen and learn; we left inspired by their courage," she wrote.

Pelosi's visit to the museum came as part of a 19-hour visit, the first by a U.S. House speaker since 1997, in which she and her delegation met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and members of Taiwan's Legislative Yuan.

The delegation departed Taiwan on Tuesday evening, and will travel to South Korea and Japan before returning to the United States.

(By Lu Chia-jung and Matthew Mazzetta)



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