Lee Ming-che’s wife says he’s in detention in China

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2017/03/28 16:29:19

Taipei, March 28 (CNA) The wife of Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) said Tuesday she had been informed that her husband was under arrest in China and she would like to visit him.

In a brief statement issued to the press, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜) said she received word from “government sources late Monday night” that her husband, who had been missing since March 19 after he entered China from Macao, had been detained by Chinese security authorities.

Lee Ching-yu said she was worried that her husband might not have enough money on him to obtain food or medicine for his high blood pressure.

“I’ve asked the Straits Exchange Foundation to forward medicine and money to him,” she said.

She urged China to let her know on what charges her husband was arrested and allow her and other family members to visit him.

Last Friday, Lee Ching-yu, in collaboration with human rights groups, held a press conference to call attention to the issue of her missing husband and to seek government help to locate him.

“If he has been arrested, please let me know on what charges,” she said at the press conference. “If he is indeed under arrest, I could face that, but please tell me if he’s alive and where he is.”

According to Cheng Hsiu-chuan (鄭秀娟), president of Wenshan Community College in Taipei where Lee Ming-che is employed, Lee is a “clear thinking” staff member dedicated to democracy and human rights issues.

Lee often shared information online with his Chinese friends about Taiwan’s transition to a democracy, Cheng said.

In a press release issued last Friday, Amnesty International (AI) said Lee was last heard from on March 19.

He “has been supporting civil society organizations and activists in China for many years, although this time he went to China for personal matters, arranging for his mother-in-law’s medical treatment,” AI’s Hong Kong office said.

“The fact that Lee Ming-che has gone missing once again raises serious questions about the safety of people working with civil society in China,” said Nicholas Bequelin, AI’s East Asia director.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council confirmed that Lee entered China at 23:51 p.m. on March 19, but said there had been no record of him checking into a hotel or being arrested, according to AI.

(By S.C. Chang)
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