Taiwan working to ensure safe return of detained activist: official

2017/09/09 16:33:59 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
 Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜)

Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜)

Taipei, Sept. 9 (CNA) The Taiwanese government is doing everything in its power to ensure the safe return of human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who has been detained in China since March, the Presidential Office said Saturday.

Several government departments have been working tirelessly to protect both Lee and the country's dignity, Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) told the press as Lee's wife prepares to depart for China to attend his trial.

The activist's wife Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜) told reporters Saturday that she is travelling to China the following day, not to challenge or argue with anyone there, but to see justice done.

She said there was a possibility that her husband would be coerced into pleading guilty and she hoped the Taiwanese people would understand if he has to do or say anything against his will.

Her biggest wish is to see her husband make a safe and dignified return to Taiwan as soon as possible, she said.

Lee Ching-yu will be accompanied on her trip to China by Wang Li-ping (王麗萍), a former Democratic Progressive Party legislator.

According to the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Lee Ming-che's mother has a plane ticket and travel permit to go to China, but it is unclear whether she will actually make the trip.

Wang said the activist's mother does not hold the same political views as her son or her daughter-in-law and would like Lee Ming-che to admit that he did something wrong so he can be allowed to return home.

The 42-year old Taiwanese activist disappeared on March 19 after clearing immigration in Macau and was later confirmed to have been detained by Chinese authorities.

Charged with subversion of state power, he has since been in detention in China and reportedly is scheduled to go on trial Sept. 11.

The case has gained international attention, with Amnesty International and other human rights organizations calling for his immediate release.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Kuan-lin Liu)

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