Special News from Taiwan Sovereignty Watch
Wednesday November 05, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.
Coordinator: Taiwan Sovereignty Watch/
Contact Info: Billy Pan 0968-718673; Michael 0935-156396; Luna 0917-228-367
Contact Email: ocotTaiwan@gmail.com
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There are lots of bloggers and volunteers in Taiwan and overseas concern current Taiwan Police Violates Civil Rights When Maintaining Order during the Meeting of Taiwan's and China's Top Negotiators.
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Press Release(English Version)
Taiwan Police Violates Civil Rights When Maintaining Order During the Meeting of Taiwan's and China's Top Negotiators
Chen Yunlin, the chief of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, landed at Taiwan on November 3rd. He signed agreements on passenger-cargo flight, maritime shipping, mail service and food safety related issues with Chiang Pin-kung, the chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation. These agreements made Taiwan and China enter an age of three direct links. He would also meet President Ma Ying-Jeou of Taiwan.
For a long time, China has repressed any opportunities of Taiwan to participate international events. China neither recognizes Taiwan as a sovereign nation nor gives up its plan of making martial intrusion into Taiwan. Many Taiwanese people, including Taiwan's biggest opposition party, Democratic Progressive Party, were worried that Kuomintang government would not be able to defend Taiwan's sovereignty during the negotiation. They also questioned that this meeting was not put under public examination. They are holding protests throughout Chen Yunlin's visit to Taiwan, expressing their claims, such as "One Taiwan, One China". Those people against China's forceful repression of Tibet's independence activities also joined the protests, holding "Free Tibet" slogan.
For Chen Yunlin's Taiwan visit, the Kuomingtang administration has specifically deployed some seven thousand policemen and special agents to cordon off the venues where Chen would appear in an attempt to prevent the public from raising protests. Measures employed by the police to guard Chen these days have, however, gone beyond the bounds of the law and the Constitution and seriously infringed on citizens' personal liberties and civil rights. Following are some instances:
- The policy confiscated and damaged personal belongings of flags and balloons held by people at protest venues.
- In the evening of November 2, four Taichung City Councilors, Chen Shu-hua, Chiu Su-chen, Chi Li-yu and Lai Chia-wei, checked in the Grand Hotel where Chen Yulin would stay during his visit. The next morning, they displayed protest banners from the balcony of their room. Within one minute, special agents broke in the balcony and entered their room, without their consent, to remove banners and restrain their actions.
- Three bloggers with national flags of Taiwan and Tibet in hand were forcefully taken away by the police when walking southbound along Chung Shan North Rd and passing by the Taiwan Cement Building, where Chen Yunlin visited Cecilia Koo Yen, widow of the former chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation. The arrest caused the dislocation of fingers of one of the bloggers, but police refused to send her for medical treatment until she provided personal information.
- Chen Yu-ching, a photographer who visited friends near the Grand Hotel, was arrested and sent to the police station for interrogation for shooting the video of the banned area with hand-held camera.
- Hung Chien-yi, a Taipei councilman, entered the Ambassador Hotel, where Chen Yunlin's dinner reception was held, in the afternoon. When leaving by himself in the evening, he was dragged away on the ground for tens of yards by several police officers at the front gate of the hotel. He did not shout derogatory slogans or carry any dangerous items but only wore a T-shirt with the mark of "No Conspiracy with China" on it.
- On November 4th, while Chen Yunlin was at the dinner reception hosted by KMT leaders at the Ambassador Hotel, a nearby record store was playing some Taiwanese song out loud. The police thought the song would stir up the feelings of the protesters on the scene, so they, in uniform or plainclothes, led by Beitou Police District Chief Lee Han Ching, broke into that record store, asked the store owner to stop the music, and shut the door.
- On November 3rd, the Association of Taiwan Journalist issued that Cheng Chieh-wen, a photojournalist from the Central News Agency, was dragged by the security police for 10 meters while he was doing his job at the Grand Hotel, and that an inappropriate press coverage area plan had caused quarrels between the press and the officials. ATJ declared that press freedom was under severe attack in Taiwan. Meanwhile, the government imposed such strict control over press coverage for this event that several reporters from Hong Kong said they failed to get press passes and had limited rights for coverage.
Protests are continuing, so are actions that invade human rights, actions that do harm to freedom of speech and personal liberty. These actions not only violated both Taiwan's criminal and civil laws but also contradicted the Constitution that should have protected the rights of people. We will be watching these events, and we want to raise our severe objections to the police in Taiwan.