TAIPEI – The Taiwanese presidential office described on Tuesday as regrettable and unacceptable China’s sentencing of Taiwanese pro-democracy activist Lee Ming-Che to five years in prison for alleged subversion of state power.
Presidential spokesperson Alex Huang said at a press conference Tuesday that spreading democracy is not a crime and Lee’s conviction for sharing his ideas online with friends in China as an indication of his interest in democracy and civil society is unacceptable.
The Taipei administration urged Beijing to release Lee Ming-che as soon as possible adding that the sentence has seriously damaged bilateral ties and undermined Taiwanese belief in freedom and democracy.
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council added that Lee’s activities pose no danger to the security and stability of China and that “to turn our backs on universal values of democracy and human rights” only “harms the international image” of China.
A court in China’s Hunan province Tuesday sentenced Taiwanese activist and professor Lee Ming-che to five years in prison for subversion of state power through opinions and comments made on social media outside mainland China.
A joint statement by a number of non profit organizations in Taiwan criticized the ruling as a human rights violation.
“This sentence is ridiculous: it is not only a flagrant violation of human rights, but it shows the weakness of a regime that has to resort to such repression to remain in power,” the executive secretary of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Eeling Chiu, told EFE.
Chiu also urged the Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen to issue a condemnation against the sentencing and criticized the conviction of a Taiwanese in China for acts carried out in Taiwan.
“China has no jurisdiction over facts registered in Taiwan and this sentence is an abuse of extraterritoriality,” Chiu said.