Wife of detained NGO worker goes to Washington

Lee Ching-yu, the wife of a Taiwanese NGO worker detained in China, departed for the United States on Sunday. She is set to attend a House committee meeting in an attempt to bring pressure to bear to free her husband.

Her husband, Lee Ming-che, has been held in China since the middle of March on suspicion of "endangering national security". Chinese authorities have refused to clarify the exact charges against him or other details of his detention. It is believed that Lee's detention is related to his human rights advocacy and reflects a tougher stance from Beijing on the activities of NGOs.

Lee Ching-yu was invited to attend the House hearing together with other partners of individuals detained by Chinese authorities.

The secretary general of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Chiu E-ling, said Tuesday that Mrs. Lee hopes to seek international help in her husband's case.

"[Lee Ming-che] is a normal citizen who has been concerned about human rights in China for a long time. He has done a lot of things in private, but [Mrs. Lee] and her husband are not high profile people nor are they prominent figures," Chiu said. "They are low-key workers for social movements. They hope that the international community including the United States can take note of the unheralded efforts of human rights workers."

Chiu said Mrs. Lee is also seeking help from the EU Parliament and the United Nations Human Rights Council

Source: Radio Taiwan International