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China
15.11.18
Urgent Interventions

Ongoing incommunicado detention of Mr. Li Ming-che

New information

CHN 002 / 0417 / OBS 034.3
Incommunicado detention

China
November 15, 2018


The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a jointpartnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), hasreceived new information and requests your intervention in the followingsituation in China.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoingincommunicado detention of Mr. Li Ming-che, Programme Manager atWen-Shan Community College in Taiwan and a volunteer with the Taiwan-based NGOCovenants Watch[1].

According to the information received, on November 9, 2018, Chineseauthorities rejected a request by Mrs. Lee Ching-yu - Mr. Li Ming-che’s wife -to visit her husband in Chi-Shan prison on November 12.

Moreover, on October 19, 2018, the Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council(MAC)[2] was informed by reliablesources that Mr. Li Ming-che had been transferred from Chi-Shan prison in Hunanto Yan-Cheng prison, in Hebei Province[3].On October 31, 2018, the MAC was informed that Mr. Li Ming-che had beentransferred back to Chi-Shan prison. However, neither Mr. Li Ming-che’ s familymembers nor MAC received an official notice about these two transfers from theChinese government. Chinese authorities also failed to provide any reasons forthe transfers.

Mrs. Lee Ching-yu was able to visit her husband five times since March 2018. Some visiting requests were rejected orpostponed without any reason by the Chinese government. Mrs. Lee Ching-yu lastvisited her husband on September 10, 2018. According to Chinese prisonregulations, prisoners are allowed to make phone calls to their families at aprior-designated and approved number. Nonetheless, Mrs. Lee Ching-yu has neverreceived any phone calls at this number or any correspondence from Mr. LiMing-che.

SinceMrs. Lee Ching-yu’s last visit on September10, 2018, Mr. Li Ming-che’s family has not received any information about hisfate or whereabouts.

TheObservatory recalls that Mr. Li Ming-che remainsarbitrarily detained since March 19, 2017. On November 28, 2017, he wassentenced to five years in prison (see background information).

The Observatorystrongly condemns the ongoing arbitrary and incommunicado detention ofMr. Li Ming-che, which seems to be merely aimed at punishing him for hislegitimate and peaceful human rights activities, and remains concerned about Mr. Li Ming-che’s health, as he suffersfrom hypertension.

The Observatory urges Chinese authorities to disclose Mr. LiMing-che’s whereabouts, to immediately and unconditionally release him and toensure his psychological and physical integrity.

Background information:

OnMarch 19, 2017, Mr. Li Ming-che was detained after entering mainland Chinafor personal matters from Macau through the Gongbei Port immigration checkpointlocated in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province. Chinese authorities refused to disclosehis fate or whereabouts until March 29, 2017, when they revealed thatMr. Li Ming-che was being detained at an undisclosed location andinvestigated by State security police on suspicion of “endangering nationalsecurity”.

Prior to his arrest,Mr. Li Ming-che had shared the experience of Taiwan’s democratic processwith his Chinese friends online and sent them books on human rights and modernhistory. In early 2016, he was active online to encourage donations to supportthe families of Chinese human rights activists who had been detained by Chineseauthorities.

On April 10, 2017,Mr. Li Ming-che’s wife attempted to fly to Beijing to seek informationabout her husband’s detention but she was prevented from boarding her flightafter Chinese authorities revoked her travel pass.

On May 26, 2017,Chinese authorities issued a statement to confirm the detention of Mr. LiMing-che.

On September 11, 2017,Mr. Li Ming-che was briefly allowed to see his family, for the first timesince his arrest. The same day, his trial opened before the YueyangIntermediate Court in Hunan Province. During the first hearing, Mr. LiMing-che pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him. Li Ming-checonfessed that he had “disseminated articles and essays that maliciouslyattacked and defamed the Chinese government, the Chinese Communist Party andChina’s current political system,” and that he had “incited the subversion ofState power.” It is feared that this confession, which was filmed and releasedonline on Youtube by Yueyang Court, had been made under pressure from Chineseauthorities.

OnNovember 28, 2017, Yueyang Intermediate Court sentenced Mr. Li Ming-che tofive years in prison after founding him guilty on charges of “subverting Statepower”. The court also stripped him of all political rights in China for twoyears. Mr. Li Ming-che did not appeal the verdict.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of China asking them to:

i.Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychologicalintegrity of Mr. Li Ming-che, as well as that of all human rightsdefenders in China, including byensuring immediate and unhindered access to medical care;

ii. Immediatelydisclose Mr. Li Ming-che’s fate and whereabouts and release himimmediately and unconditionally as his detention is arbitrary since it onlyseems to aim at punishing him for his human rights activities;

iii. Guarantee theunhindered access of Mr. Li Ming-che to a lawyer of his choice and hisfamily members;

iv. Put an end to allacts of harassment - including at the judicial level - against Mr. LiMing-che and all human rights defenders in the country so that they are able tocarry out their work without hindrance;

v. Complywith the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human RightsDefenders, adopted by the General Assembly of theUnited Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular with its Articles1, 6(c) and 12.2; and

vi. Ensure in allcircumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordancewith the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international humanrights instruments signed or ratified by China.

Addresses:

· Mr. LiKeqiang, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 659 61109 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Email: premier@mail.gov.cn

· Mr. GuoShengkun, Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China, Fax:+86 10 63099216, Email: gabzfwz@mps.gov.cn

· H.E.Mr. Zhaoxu Ma, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic ofChina to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 793 70 14,E-mail: chinamission_gva@mfa.gov.cn

· H.E.Mr. QU XING, Ambassador, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China inBrussels, Belgium, Fax: +32-2-7792895; Email: chinaemb_be@mfa.gov.cn

Pleasealso write to the diplomatic representations of China in your respectivecountries.

***

Paris-Geneva, November 15, 2018

Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for theProtection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 byFIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of thisprogramme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rightsdefenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented byinternational civil society.

[1] Established in 2009, Taiwan-based CovenantsWatch monitors the Taiwanese Government’s fulfilment of its internationalobligations stemming from human rights conventions, conducts policy trainingand advocacy activities, and serves as a platform for collaboration for otherhuman rights groups operating in Taiwan.

[2] The MAC is anadministrative agency under the Executive Yuan (branch) of the Government of Taiwan.It is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of policiesconcerning relations between Taiwan and China.

[3] Yan-Cheng prison in Hebei Province is theonly prison directly managed by the Ministry of Justice.

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