Wife of human rights advocate headed to China to 'rescue' husband

2017/03/31 19:37:38
Wife of human rights advocate headed to China to 'rescue' husband

Taipei, March 31 (CNA) The wife of a Taiwanese human rights advocate who is being detained in China on suspicion of endangering China's national security said Friday that she will go to Beijing herself to rescue her husband.

Lee Ching-yu (李淨瑜), the wife of the detained Lee Ming-che (李明哲), also said at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan that she will not hire a lawyer to defend her husband.

She explained the decision by saying that when a nation's rule of law has yet to meet international standards, any attempt at a legal defense is pointless.

In talking about her husband, she stressed that all human rights workers who bring hope to places that need human rights protections cannot be in violation of the law as their dedication enhances human civilization.

Her husband's efforts deserve respect because of the selfless love they show toward fellow human beings, she said.

"I have decided to go to Beijing myself to understand the situation and rescue my husband," she said, without specifying when she would leave for China, saying only that she would go in the coming days.

Asked if she has asked for help from Taiwan's government, she said she believed the government will not turn its back on its nationals.

But she also called on the media to continue to focus on the case, saying that only through the continued attention of the media could there be a chance of rescuing her husband.

In a statement issued separately, she said that after being detained for 13 days, her husband was likely to be vulnerable to human weakness and she "would not acknowledge" any statement or confession attributed to him before seeing him because it may have been extracted by threats and coercion.

Lee Ming-che, a former Democratic Progressive Party worker and now a staff member of Wenshan Community College in Taipei, went missing on March 19 after entering the city of Zhuhai from Macau.

Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), a spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council, confirmed Wednesday that Lee is being investigated for alleged involvement in activities endangering national security.

Ma said Lee Ming-che was in good health, but he didn't disclose the location where he is being detained.

Lee's wife had asked Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), the semi-official body authorized to handle day-to-day cross-strait affairs, to forward medicine to her husband to keep his high blood pressure under control.

(By Liu Kuan-ting and Lilian Wu)
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