China: Taiwanese activist sentenced to five years in jail after 'baseless' conviction
"Lee Ming-cheh is the victim of a politically motivated prosecution” – Roseann Rife
Responding to the five-year jail sentence handed to Taiwanese activist Lee Ming-cheh by a Chinese court today (28 November), Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International, said:
“Lee Ming-cheh is the victim of a politically motivated prosecution. The evidence against him is not credible, his conviction preposterous but predictable. He is the latest to suffer under the Chinese authorities’ relentless attack against human rights and democracy activists.
“For prosecutors to use Lee’s online discussions on democracy, the fall of the Soviet Union and the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown as evidence against him highlights how baseless his conviction is. His so-called confession is highly dubious and was most likely extracted under extreme duress.
“Lee Ming-cheh has committed no crime and should be immediately and unconditionally released.”
Lee Ming-cheh was found guilty by the Chinese court of “subverting state power”. He was sentenced 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”. The convictions followed a trial in September 2017.
Lee Ming-cheh first went missing on 19 March 2017 after crossing the border from Macau to Zhuhai, Guangdong, southern China. Ten days later Chinese officials confirmed Lee Ming-cheh was being held on suspicion of “endangering national security”.