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Military Court Places Publisher Under Family Guidance

October 2, 1985

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ A Taiwan military tribunal Tuesday placed the publisher of a California Chinese-language newspaper under her family’s ″protective guidance″ after she was accused of distributing seditious material.

In a statement, the Defense Ministry said the court decided not to assign Lee Ya-ping to a two-year term ″for reformatory education.″

Instead, the court put her in the ″protective guidance″ of her family, the statement said.

Ms. Lee, a Taiwan citizen who publishes the International Daily News in Monterey Park, Calif., was arrested Sept. 17 during a visit to Taiwan and accused of publishing editorials, columns and news articles that supported China and its overtures to Taiwan for peaceful reunification.

She was released last Thursday from military custody after she expressed ″deep remorse″ and said she had been influenced by communist propaganda, the government said.

After her release, military prosecutors had recommended that she assigned ″to reformatory education for a fresh start.″

The Defense Ministry statement, released by the Government Information Service, did not say whether Ms. Lee would be allowed to go abroad during the ″protective guidance.″ Ms. Lee holds the right to permanent residence in the United States.

Ms. Lee was not available for comment.

The publisher’s arrest drew a sharp protest from the United States, which said she was being harassed for performing her professional activities.

Taiwan claims it has the legal right to prosecute its citizens for crimes, even if they are committed abroad.

After Ms. Lee was arrested, the military said witnesses reported that the publisher had distributed copies of her newspaper at the International Business College and International Business Senior High School in Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. She is chairwoman of both schools.

Under the article of the sedition law under which she was arrested, Ms. Lee could have been sentenced to a minimum prison term of seven years or death if convicted.

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