China refuses to notify following Lee Ming-che arrest

Authorities in mainland China are still refusing to communicate with Taiwan in the case of detained NGO worker Lee Ming-che. It was confirmed on Friday that Lee has been formally charged with subverting state power. The staff member at Wenshan Community College in Taipei had been detained since entering China in the middle of March.

The Ministry of Justice has sent communications to the Chinese law enforcement authorities. It has asked them to send notification regarding Chen's case and to ensure his legal rights. It has asked this in the spirit of cross-strait agreements on legal and judicial cooperation. The Chinese side has refused to honor these agreements ever since Chen was detained. Deputy justice minister Chen Ming-tang said Tuesday that no response had been received to the ministry's request.

The Taiwan Association for Human Rights has condemned the Chinese authorities' treatment of Lee. The association said it suspects Lee's basic rights have already been gravely violated, including habeas corpus, presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial. It also said that the charge of subverting state power is often used by Chinese authorities to suppress domestic dissidents and human rights lawyers. It said other countries should be alarmed that China has leveled this charge against someone who is not a Chinese citizen.

Source: Radio Taiwan International