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Taiwanese activist jailed in China for 'subversion' returns home after five years

ANI | Updated: Apr 16, 2022 13:46 IST

Taipei [Taiwan], April 16 (ANI): A Taiwanese rights activist, who served a five-year jail term for "subversion" in China, returned to Taiwan on Friday, expressed concerns regarding human rights violations in China, according to a media report.
"After being improperly detained by China for more than 1,852 days, Lee Ming-cheh arrived at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport at around 10 a.m. today, April 15, 2022," Radio Free Asia quoted the statement of a coalition of rights groups that campaigned for Lee's release.
In a joint statement issued with his wife, Lee said that the world seemed unfamiliar after five years in jail, however, his current isolation is completely different from the one he experienced in China. "Now I am embraced by love, not besieged by terror," the media outlet quoted him as saying.
"Our family's suffering is over, but there are still countless people whose human rights are being violated in China. May they one day have their day of liberation, too. We know that freedom comes from oneself, just as the people of Taiwan traded blood and tears under martial law for freedom, democracy and human rights. May the Chinese people know and learn from this," he added.
Notably, Lee is an activist with Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is vilified by Beijing for refusing to accept its claim on the island. He was sentenced to five years in jail for "attempting to subvert state power" in November 2017, according to the media outlet.

According to Amnesty International's Taiwan branch, Lee, who was accused of setting up social media chat groups to "vilify China" was barred from speaking to his wife on the phone, or from writing letters home during his jail term.
Meanwhile, terming Lee's incarceration "unacceptable", the Taiwan government called on the Chinese government to protect the rights of Taiwanese nationals in China.
"Lee Ming-cheh ... was tried by a Chinese court for 'subversion of state power' and imprisoned for five years, which is unacceptable to the people of Taiwan," the media outlet quoted Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng as saying on Friday.
Notably, Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China for over seven decades.
However, Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan, which is a territory with its own democratically-elected government, maintains that it is an autonomous country. (ANI)