(TibetanReview.net, May10’22) – A Taiwanese human rights activist who was jailed for five years for speaking about Taiwan’s democracy and giving humanitarian support to families of political prisoners in China has said international pressure and the tireless advocacy by his wife had worked to ensure his safe return to Taiwan on Apr 15.
“I know that my life’s safety and security was defended by many people, thanks to everyone, I have never felt abandoned or alone,” the AP May 10 quoted Lee Ming-che as saying at a press conference May 10 in his first public appearance since being released from prison.
He was arrested in 2017 after entering China from Macao and charged with “subverting state power” in China’s first criminal prosecution of a nonprofit worker since Beijing passed a law tightening controls over foreign non-governmental organizations in 2016.
Lee had given online lectures on Taiwan’s democratization and managed a fund for families of political prisoners in China that some friends had set up.
“I did what I could do, using my credit card to buy some books,” he has said, which he then sent to friends in China. He also gave donations to the families of political prisoners.
“This is not to interfere with the country’s internal affairs. All of this was simply a way of humanitarian caring,” Lee has said.
In the last five years, Lee’s wife, Ching-yu, worked with local nonprofit organizations to raise awareness about her husband’s case. She also sought help from foreign democratic governments from the United States to the United Kingdom.
“International support can truly have a concrete change on the treatment of a political prisoner in China,” Lee has said.