Wife of detained Taiwanese activist departs for China

2017/09/10 15:07:02 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Lee Ching-yu (left)

Lee Ching-yu (left)

Taipei, Sept. 10 (CNA) The wife of human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who is being held in China on charges of subversion of state power, departed Sunday morning for China to attend his court hearing.

Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜) arrived at Taipei Songshan Airport around 10:40 a.m., accompanied by a lawyer, Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) officials and two representatives of a civilian group advocating Lee's release, but she did not talk to the media.

Wang Li-ping (王麗萍), a former Democratic Progressive Party legislator who had planned to accompany Lee to China, did not show up at the airport.

Wang told CNA that her permit to enter China apparently had not been approved by Chinese authorities, therefore, she decided to return to Yunlin and had informed Lee's wife of the development.

The two representatives of the civilian rescue group also said at the airport that they were not sure whether they would be allowed to enter China.

Fan Chih-cheng (范值誠), the lawyer retained by the Taiwan government on Lee Ching-yu's behalf, said he was there to advise her on legal matters but would not represent her husband in China.

Lee Ming-che went missing after entering China via Macao on March 19 and was later confirmed to have been detained by Chinese authorities.

The Chinese government said in May that he had been arrested on charges of "subversion of state power."

His family and colleagues have maintained that he did nothing wrong. They said he had simply communicated with Chinese users on Wechat about Taiwan's experience in becoming a democracy and had helped raise money for the families of detained Chinese lawyers.

An Fengshan (安峰山), a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said Wednesday that Hunan's Yueyang Intermediate People's Court would hear Lee Ming-che's case soon, but he did not disclose a date.

According to some media reports, however, the hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Lee Ching-yu is expected to arrive in Changsha in Hunan at 6:40 p.m. via Shanghai.

(By Sophia Yeh, Miao Zong-han, Y.F. Low and Evelyn Kao)

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