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PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA:
PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE ILL-TREATED IN PRISON

Update info:
19 Feb 2019 (Updated)
Latest info:
29 Nov 2018 (Updated)
14 Jun 2017 (Updated)
5 Apr 2017
Country:
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Subject:
Lee Ming-che (he/him)
Period:
27 May 2019
Distribution date:
19 Feb 2019
UA No:
071/2017

Taiwanese activist Lee Ming-che has been given rotten food and insufficient clothing in his freezing prison cell. As a result of exposing these prison conditions, his wife is not allowed to visit him again until 22 April 2019. Sentenced in 2017 to five years’ imprisonment for “subverting state power”, Lee Ming-che is a prisoner of conscience and should be immediately and unconditionally released.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Lee Ming-che, manager of an NGO in Taipei, Wenshan Community College, first went missing on 19 March 2017 after crossing the Gongbei border from Macao to Zhuhai, Guangdong, southern China. Ten days later, Chinese officials confirmed Lee Ming-che was being held on suspicion of “endangering national security”. Lee Ming-che has supported civil society organizations and activists for many years in China. However, on this occasion, Lee Ming-che was on a personal visit to China to arrange medical treatment for his mother-in-law.

Lee Ming-che is the first foreign NGO worker imprisoned since the Foreign NGO Management Law took effect on 1 January 2017. Following a trial in September 2017, Lee was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment alongside Chinese citizen Peng Yuhua by the Yueyang City Intermediate People’s Court, in Hunan province. Peng Yuha was sentenced to seven years, also for subverting state power”.

Prior to the trial, Lee Ming-che was held in incommunicado detention for six months. In his first public appearance since being detained, Lee appeared tired and seemed to recite a scripted “confession” during his trial, which was broadcast live on the court’s weibo social media account.

Lee Ming-che’s wife, held a press conference in Taiwan on 24 December 2018 where she shared that the prison withheld the books that she gave to Lee Ming-che and that he had previously been temporarily transferred to another prison without any explanation. His account in the prison was also frozen, so that he was not able to buy additional food and clothing.

PREFERRED LANGUAGE TO ADDRESS TARGET: English, Chinese
You can also write in your own language.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE UNTIL: 27 March 2019
Please check with the Amnesty office in your country if you wish to send appeals after the deadline.

LINK TO PREVIOUS UA: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa17/9417/2018/en/

Take action

WRITE AN APPEAL IN YOUR OWN WORDS OR USE THIS MODEL LETTER

President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping
Zhongnanhai
Xichangan’jie
Xichengqu, Beijing Shi 100017
Fax: +86 10 6238 1025
Email: english@mail.gov.cn

Dear President:

Taiwan NGO worker Lee Ming-che, along with co-defendant and Chinese citizen Peng Yuhua, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for “subverting state power” in November 2017 by the Yueyang City Intermediate People’s Court in Hunan province.

Lee Ming-che was given rotten food, asked to work long hours and was not given enough clothes in his freezing prison cell, according to his wife Lee Ching-yu who visited him in Chishan Prison on 18 December 2018. All previous requests to visit him had been denied for nearly four months.

On 29 January 2019, Lee Ching-yu held a press conference to say that she had received a notice from the Chishan Prison telling her that she would not be allowed to visit Lee Ming-che for three months from 23 January 2019 to 22 April 2019 as the prison authorities accused her of making up the allegations of ill-treatment.

Lee Ming-che is a prisoner of conscience as he has been imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and has committed no crime. Therefore, I call on you to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release Lee Ming-che as he has been detained solely for peacefully exercising his human right to freedom of expression;
  • Pending his release, ensure that Lee Ming-che is protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and that he has regular, unrestricted access to family and medical care on request or as necessary while in detention

Yours sincerely,