Wife of Detained Taiwan Activist to Attend His Trial in China

TAIPEI—The wife and mother of detained Taiwanese rights activist Lee Ming-che were due to arrive in China on Sunday to attend his subversion trial on Monday, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement, calling for Lee’s safe return home.

Lee, a community college teacher and pro-democracy and human rights activist, went missing during a March visit to China. Authorities later confirmed he had been detained, straining already-tense ties between the mainland and the self-ruling island.

Authorities at the Intermediate People’s Court of Yueyang city, in the central province of Hunan, said Monday’s trial on suspicion of subversion of state power would be an open hearing.

Chinese courts have video-streamed or live-blogged increasing numbers of proceedings in recent years as part of a push towards judicial transparency

However, rights activists say that in sensitive cases, holding “open” hearings is a tool for authorities to demonstrate state power and that usually the defendant has agreed to an outcome.

On Saturday, Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu, asked during a news conference that supporters forgive her husband if he says something in court which disappoints them, as he might be required to give testimony against his own free will.

On Sunday she declined to comment to a large media contingent as she checked into her flight at Taipei Songshan Airport, where she was to fly to Changsha, in Hunan province, via Shanghai.

Lee Ching-yu, wife of Taiwan human rights advocate Lee Ming-che, also known as Li Ming-Che, who has been detained in China, departs for her husband
Lee Ching-yu, wife of Taiwan human rights advocate Lee Ming-che, also known as Li Ming-Che, who has been detained in China, departs for her husband’s trial from the airport in Taipei, Taiwan on Sept. 10, 2017. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said it would do everything in its power to facilitate Lee’s safe return.

“Our government’s approach to this case has been predicated on preserving our country’s dignity while ensuring Lee Ming-che’s safety,” it said.

Lee’s case has strained relations between Taipei and Beijing, which have been particularly tense since President Tsai Ing-wen, leader of Taiwan’s independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, took office last year.

Beijing regards the island as a breakaway province and it has never renounced the use of force to bring it back under mainland control.

Reuters

 
 
 
 
 

As Olympics Draw to a Close, US to Impose Massive New Sanctions on North Korea

As Olympics Draw to a Close, US to Impose Massive New Sanctions on North Korea
President Donald Trump will announce in his speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) today a new ...
READ MORE >
 

President Trump Reiterates Call for Armed Teachers in Schools

President Trump Reiterates Call for Armed Teachers in Schools
President Donald Trump renewed his call Friday for the arming of many "gun adept" teachers and security guards ...
READ MORE >
 

Betsy DeVos Defends Free Speech on College Campuses

Betsy DeVos Defends Free Speech on College Campuses
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said that the threat to free speech on college campuses is a “very timely ...
READ MORE >
 

Regime Covering up Severity of Flu in China, According to Chinese Media

Regime Covering up Severity of Flu in China, According to Chinese Media
This flu season has been particularly severe, considered one of the worst in a decade in the United ...
READ MORE >
 

Capitalism: How Capitalists Took the Word From Communists

Capitalism: How Capitalists Took the Word From Communists
Capitalism—how can a single word spark so much praise and vitriol simultaneously? How can a word prolifically used ...
READ MORE >