04/01/2017, 10.58
TAIWAN - CHINA

Lee Ching-yu: From Taiwan to Beijing to save my husband, a human rights activist

by Lee Ching-yu

Lee Ming-che, the husband of Lee Ching-yu, disappeared in police custody on 19 March. He is suspected of "harming national security" and is under investigation in China. Lee is an activist for human rights and was supposed to meet a Chinese writer. His wife asks Beijing to respect him: "Every activist is innocent."

Taipei (AsiaNews) - "I decided to go to Beijing to find out what happened and save my husband" is the conclusion of an open letter that Lee Ching-yu released yesterday to raise public awareness and urge action for the fate of her husband, Lee Ming-che.

Lee Ming-che, 42, is an activist who often denounced human rights violations in China and who disappeared on March 19, on entering Zhuhai (Guangdong) from Macao. His wife and his friends have asked for help from the Taiwanese authorities and international humanitarian organizations. For some time the Beijing authorities have been silent, but four days ago they admitted that Lee is detained and is under investigation.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China's State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said that "the Taiwanese Lee Ming-who is a resident suspected of having engaged in activities that harm national security and is under investigation by the relevant "authority. According to some media reports, Lee - who in the past was part of the Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan, with a push for independence - was to meet with the Chinese writer and online activist Liu Ermu. But Liu has never met him. Here is the statement issued by Lee Chingyu.

I’ve been a historian of Taiwan’s period of political violence, the “White Terror,” for many years. Now that my own my loved one is detained, terror grips my heart. I’ve tried so hard to calm myself, to carefully compose my thoughts. I know from the history of the White Terror in Taiwan that when a country’s system of rule of law hasn’t risen to international standards, all attempts to offer defenses according to the law are useless. We can only offer a defense of humanity and human rights — but the legal systems in such countries aren’t built upon universal conceptions of human rights.

It’s for this reason that I make this considered announcement: I am not going to hire a lawyer and thus engage in pointless legal wrangling.

All human rights workers, all those who bring hope to corners of the world that need human rights upheld, are innocent. It is precisely through the contributions of such individuals that human welfare and civilization grows.

My husband acted selflessly and with love for mankind, and I am full of confidence that everything he has done is worthy of the utmost respect.

I’ve decided to travel to Beijing, find out what is going on, and rescue my husband.

Lee Ming-che’s wife, Lee Ching-yu

March 31, 2017

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