No political asylum bid from Hong Kong activist: MAC

2017/08/30 17:02:34
No political asylum bid from Hong Kong activist: MAC

Taipei, Aug. 30 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) had not received a political asylum bid as of Wednesday from a Hong Kong activist who fled to Taiwan to escape trial on charges of rioting.

The MAC issued a statement on Monday saying that it would deal with any application for asylum according to the Act Governing the Relations with Hong Kong and Macau, although it added that no application has been filed by Hong Kong activist Lee Sin-yi (李倩怡).

The MAC's press office confirmed on Wednesday that no new developments have since taken place.

Lee was allegedly involved in a civil demonstration that took place in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong on the night of Feb. 8, 2016 over a government crackdown on unlicensed street vendors in the area.

Following the incident, the Hong Kong government charged those involved, including Lee, with rioting. Lee was released on bail and came to Taiwan on Jan. 6 of this year, a few days before her Jan. 17 trial date.

The National Immigration Agency (NIA) stated in June that Lee arrived in Taiwan on a tourist visa but said it has no record of her leaving the country after her legally allowed stay of 30 days.

Lee's whereabouts in Taiwan are currently unknown, according to the NIA.

A recording of someone claiming to be Lee surfaced Aug. 26, in which she said that she would not be returning to Hong Kong.

"You can say that I'm a coward, escaping a trial by the Hong Kong judiciary. But in my heart, it has been a long time since I believed that there is rule of law," the person speaking in the recording said.

The person in the recording also mentioned fleeing to Taiwan as a new opportunity for freedom, while accusing Hong Kong's judicial process of serving as a means of suppressing social movements.

The 18-year old activist is said to be receiving help from a pro-independence group in Taiwan after being rejected by the opposition New Power Party and various unnamed local human rights groups, according to other details revealed in the recording.

Commenting on the Lee case, Lam Wing-kee (林榮基), the Hong Kong bookseller who was detained in China for eight months for selling titles critical of the government, urged her to return to Hong Kong and stand trial.

In an exclusive interview with CNA on Wednesday. Lam said that Lee should return to Hong Kong, saying that at her young age, she will still have a bright future even if she ends up doing time for her alleged involvement in the Mong Kok riot.

Lam said he would personally volunteer to persuade her to go back, saying that all she can do in Taiwan is hide.

(By Miao Zhong-han and Kuan-lin Liu)
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