Free US citizen Kai Li from Chinese prison
US citizen Kai Li has been wrongfully detained in China since 2016 on politically motivated charges of espionage. After over two months under Residential Surveillance at a Designated Location, a form of in communicado detention condemned by the United Nations Committee Against Torture that precludes any access to legal counsel, Kai languished in a pre-trial detention center for nearly two years before being sentenced to 10 years in Shanghai’s Qingpu Prison following a secret trial. Since then Kai has been threatened with punishment for attempting to write letters to members of Congress to advocate for his release. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Consulate in Shanghai has not been able to visit Kai since January 2020, and Kai has been unable to seek a comprehensive medical evaluation following complaints of irregular heartbeat and numbness in his arm. The “state secrets” that Kai is accused of furnishing to the FBI are freely searchable on the internet, yet this does not prevent China from retroactively declaring them as such in the name of “national security”. As the only US citizen held in China on national security charges, Kai deserves more sustained and vociferous advocacy from the US government. In particular, Congress should call upon Secretary of State Pompeo to meet with Kai’s family and actively negotiate with his Chinese counterparts for Kai’s immediate release. The relevant congressional committees should also hold public hearings to deliberate on appropriate legislation to support Kai’s release. As China expands its national security laws into Hong Kong, Kai’s arrest demonstrates the danger that China’s version of national security poses to Americans traveling or working abroad. Kai has unjustly suffered in Chinese prison for nearly four years. It is past time for him to be reunited with his family in New York.
First sent on June 28, 2020 by Harrison
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