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Following Lee Ming-che’s Release and Return to Taiwan, the National Human Rights Commission Calls on the Chinese Government to Comply with the International Bill of Human Rights by Protecting the Rights of Taiwanese Citizens who are Detained on Chinese Soil

  • PostDate:2022-04-19

April 15—Taiwanese citizen Lee Ming-che, who was wrongfully tried and detained by the Chinese government for five years, returned to Taiwan on a flight from Xiamen. In addition to expressing its sympathy with Lee and his family, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) urged the Chinese government to free all human rights workers as well as Taiwanese citizens who have been arbitrarily arrested in China, in the spirit of the International Bill of Human Rights.

Lee disappeared from public view after entering China in March 2017, when he was sentenced to five years in prison for the crime of “endangering national security.” During this time, he was subject to wrongful trial and detention, where he was denied the right to communicate with the outside world and regular visits by family members were also prohibited. Because of this, the outside world was unable to ascertain his circumstances and the actual conditions inside the prison.

According to the NHRC, freedom of speech is a universal value and the core value of human rights protections. Lee’s trial in a Chinese court for endangering China’s national security because he expressed his concern for China’s civil society and democratic development and shared ideas about freedom and democracy violate the basic human rights preached by the International Bill of Human Rights.

The NHRC noted that the Chinese government signed and ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1988, and should abide by its norms. However, international observers have revealed that torture and other inhumane or degrading treatment remain common in China.

The NHRC voiced its admiration for the perseverance and efforts of Lee, his family, and his defenders in private organizations and government agencies over the past five years. The Chinese government’s suppression of human rights has attracted international attention, and the NHRC calls on the Chinese government to stop arresting people for speaking out, to immediately release human rights workers, dissidents, and Taiwanese citizens who have been arbitrarily arrested and tried, and to fulfill the spirit of the International Bill of Human Rights.