Smith Condemns China’s Sentencing of Taiwanese Democracy Advocate
In response to the sentencing of Taiwan democracy advocate Lee Ming-cheh to five years imprisonment for discussing human rights and democracy over social media and supporting human rights defenders in China, Congressman Chris Smith, Chair of the Global Human Rights Subcommittee and Cochair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China issued the following statement:
“Tuesday’s sentencing is another reminder that the Chinese government will go to great lengths to curtail even private discussions of human rights and democracy. China refuses to play by international rules and will attempt to silence its critics—even those beyond its border. It is clear from this decision that anyone in China, including foreigners and foreign visitors, who are critical of the government’s efforts to curtail universally-recognized freedoms may be prosecuted for attempting to undermine the regime. Lee Ming-che did nothing wrong and should be released immediately to be reunited with his courageous wife Li Ching-yu. His ongoing imprisonment needlessly harms cross-Straits relations between Mainland China and Taiwan. Lee Ming-cheh’s case should be a priority for the international community.”
In July, Smith held a hearing featuring the spouses of detained human rights defenders in China. Lee Ming-cheh’s wife, Li Ching-yu, testified at the hearing. Click here to read her full statement. http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA16/20170518/105985/HHRG-115-FA16-Wstate-Chin-yuL-20170518.pdf
Smith has held over 60 hearings on human rights and the rule of law in China.