Human Rights in China (HRIC) has received a copy of an open letter on behalf of Yan Peng, a democracy activist who was held in detention for eight months in Taiwan after fleeing there from the mainland in June 2004. Yan is seeking political asylum, but because of procedural delays he has remained in limbo in Taiwan for over a year.
The open letter, addressed to Taiwanese President Chen Shuibian, has been signed by 190 mainland and overseas dissidents and activists such as Liu Di and Jiang Fuzhen. The letter, which is appended to the Chinese version of this press release, urges the Taiwan government to promptly settle Yan Peng’s status, either by facilitating his asylum overseas, or by allowing him to live and work in Taiwan.
A previous petition addressed to the Taiwan government on behalf of Yan Peng in November 2004 resulted in assurances that Yan would not be criminally prosecuted for illegally entering Taiwan, and in February this year he was released from Taiwan’s Ching Lu Detention Center for economic refugees. However, his situation remains difficult because of his uncertain status and therefore, his inability to support himself.
HRIC urges the Taiwan government to take whatever measures are necessary to resolve the fate of this activist, who has devoted himself to the cause of democracy and human rights in China since the 1980s.