Taiwan demands Beijing give information on arrested activist

Taipei--In the wake of China's announcement late Friday that Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che (???) is being held for suspected subversion of state power, Taiwan's Ministry of Justice (MOJ) on Saturday demanded Beijing inform Taipei of Lee's current condition based on a cross-Taiwan Strait agreement on the joint combat of crime and judicial cooperation.

As soon as China's Ministry of Public Security announced late Friday that Lee had been arrested on such grounds, the MOJ sent an e-mail to China's Supreme People's Procuratorate asking that Lee's physical health, personal security and litigation rights be protected during the case's investigation, the ministry said.

The ministry also urged the Chinese authorities to allow Lee's family members to visit him and release him immediately after the investigation is completed.

On Saturday, Taiwan's semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation, an intermediary body handling cross-strait affairs in the absence of official ties, also called on the Chinese authorities to release evidence related to the case as soon as possible.

The foundation said it will continue to provide necessary assistance to Lee's family and urged Beijing to protect Lee's due rights, so as not to damage cross-strait relations.

Lee went missing after entering China via Macau on March 19 and was later confirmed to have been detained by the Chinese authorities.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman An Fengshan (???) said late Friday that Lee had been officially arrested on suspicion of "subversion of state power."

An said Lee has been detained in Hunan Province since March 19 and that he and "his partners in crime have confessed directly that they carried out activities that threaten our country's national security."

The spokesman claimed that an investigation into the case found that Lee had frequently traveled to and from China since 2012 and worked with Chinese nationals to develop plans of action and establish an illegal ring that aimed to subvert Beijing.

Lee used to work for Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party and is currently a staff member at Wenshan Community College in Taipei, as well as a volunteer at the local NGO Covenant Watch.

Previously, China had refused to provide details about his case, such as where he was being detained and what laws he was accused of violating.

Beijing has also refused to discuss Lee's case with Taiwan's authorities and has ignored requests to allow Lee's family to visit him.

Lee's wife and other human rights groups have warned in the past that any "confessions" claimed by China's government would likely be the result of coersion, and they have adamantly rejected any suggestion that Lee was involved in any activities in violation of Chinese law.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel