Wife of rights activist detained by China asks Taiwan public for forgiveness

Subversion trial to begin Sept.11 in Yueyang, Hunan Province

Lee Ching-yu, wife of detained rights activist Lee Ming-che.

Lee Ching-yu, wife of detained rights activist Lee Ming-che. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The wife of human rights activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲) asked the public in Taiwan to forgive her husband if he admitted guilt when his trial on charges of subversive activities started in China Monday.

Lee disappeared last March 19 after he had crossed into China from Macau, with Beijing admitting only later it had detained him on suspicion of activities designed to subvert state power.

His wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), was planning to take a flight to China Sunday to attend his trial in Yueyang, a city in the province of Hunan.

At a news conference Saturday, she warned the public in Taiwan beforehand that if Lee made statements in court which sounded embarrassing or hard to listen to, that was part of a show set up by the Chinese government. She said she hoped the Taiwanese could forgive her husband for any such actions or statements.

Lee Ching-yu said that if she were detained or disappeared during her stay in China, Taiwan should not waste any resources in coming to her aid. She emphasized she was not heading for Hunan to challenge the Chinese authorities or to argue with them, but to watch justice being done and her husband being allowed to return home safely.

Lee Ming-che used to work for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, but later started teaching at a community college while acting as a volunteer for a non-governmental organization. Beijing reportedly accuses him of having contacted people in China to plot against the communist government.

Updated : 2020-11-30 14:25 GMT+08:00