"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Take a stand for Taiwan's democracy

More signatures, please

Last time I checked, there were 584 signatures on the "Open letter on erosion of justice in Taiwan," but there should be far more. (I'm #102.) If you haven't yet done so, please go read it, and add your signature now [UPDATE 1, December 3, 2008: Many thanks to all of the readers of this blog who have added their names to the letter! As of 8 PM Taiwan time, there were 1,999 signatures. Even though the goal of 1,000 signatures has nearly been doubled, the Ma administration has not acknowledged their wrongdoing. If you haven't signed it yet, please do. /update 1].

Also, the Wild StrawBerries Movement (野草莓學運) has an online petition, too. (I'm number 三八ㄟ.) [UPDATE 2, December 3, 2008: Many thanks to all the readers of this blog who have given their support to the Wild StrawBerries! As of 8 PM Taiwan time, there are 1,184 signatures, but there still hasn't been a satisfactory response from the Ma government. If you haven't signed the petition yet, please go do it now. /update 2] Here are their goals [edited for formatting, clarity, spelling, and completeness]:
1. President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) must publicly apologize to all citizens [for creating the situation which allowed the police to treat protesters the way they did during Chen Yunlin's (陳雲林) visit to Taiwan].

2. National Police Agency (NPA) Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) and National Security Bureau Director Tsai Chao-ming (蔡朝明) must step down [to take responsibility for the police brutality that occurred as a result of the massive police presence].

3. The Legislative Yuan (行政院) must revise the Parade and Assembly Law (集會遊行法), which currently restricts the rights of the people [and which are set to become even more repressive early in 2009]. [This is basically a simple demand for "Freedom of Assembly."]

Whys and wherefores: , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Open letter on erosion of justice in Taiwan

Add your signature

The "Open letter on erosion of justice in Taiwan" is online in petition form, and you can add your signature to it by clicking the preceding link. Here's the text of the letter [I've edited stray code and formatting, but unless otherwise noted, the text is identical to the original]:
Open letter on erosion of justice in Taiwan

The undersigned, scholars and writers from the US, Europe and Australia, wish to express their deep concern about the recent series of detentions in Taiwan of present and former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government officials. To date there have been at least seven such cases. [Maddog note: The detention of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) without an indictment brings that number to (at least) eight.]

It is obvious that there have been cases of corruption in Taiwan, but these have occurred in both political camps. The political neutrality of the judicial system is an essential element in a democracy. It is also essential that any accused are considered innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.

We also believe that the procedures followed by the prosecutor's offices are severely flawed: while one or two of the accused have been formally charged, the majority is being held incommunicado without being charged. This is a severe contravention of the writ of habeas corpus and a basic violation of due process, justice and the rule of law.

In the meantime, the prosecutor's offices evidently leak detrimental information to the press. This kind of "trial by press" is a violation of the basic standards of judicial procedures. It also gives the distinct impression that the Kuomintang (KMT) authorities are using the judicial system to get even with members of the former DPP government.

In addition, the people who are being held incommunicado are of course unable to defend themselves against the misreporting and the leaks in the news media.

We do firmly believe that any alleged wrongdoings must be dealt with in a fair and open manner in an impartial court. Justice through the rule of law is essential to Taiwan's efforts to consolidate democracy and protect fundamental human rights.

We do not want to see Taiwan's hard-earned democracy jeopardized in this manner. Taiwan can justifiably be proud of its transition to democracy in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It would be sad for Taiwan and detrimental to its international image if the progress which was made during the past 20 years would be erased. Taiwan needs to move forward, not backwards to the unfair and unjust procedures as practiced during the dark days of Martial Law (1947-1987).


Julian Baum
Former Far Eastern Economic Review bureau chief

Nat Bellocchi
Former American Institute in Taiwan chairman

Coen Blaauw
Formosan Association for Public Affairs, Washington

David Prager Branner
Director at large (East Asia),
American Oriental Society

Gordon G. Chang
Author of
The Coming Collapse of China

PROF. June Teufel Dreyer
University of Miami

PROF. Edward Friedman
University of Wisconsin

PROF. Bruce Jacobs
Monash University

Richard C. Kagan
Professor emeritus,
Hamline University

Jerome Keating
Author and former associate professor, National Taipei University

ASSOC. PROF. Daniel Lynch
School of International Relations, University of Southern California

PROF. Victor H. Mair
University of Pennsylvania

ASSOC. PROF. Donald Rodgers
Austin College

PROF. Terence Russell
University of Manitoba

PROF. Scott Simon
University of Ottawa

John J. Tkacik Jr
Senior research fellow,
The Heritage Foundation

Gerrit van der Wees
Editor, Taiwan Communique

PROF. Arthur Waldron
University of Pennsylvania

PROF. Vincent Wei-cheng Wang
University of Richmond

Stephen Yates
President of DC Asia Advisory and former deputy assistant to the vice president for national security affairs.
Go add your name right this minute -- while you still can.

Reasons to sign: , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Taiwan's former president Chen Shui-bian taken into custody

Another dark day in Taiwan's history

In yet another incredibly provocative move by the still-new Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) government, former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was handcuffed by police and taken into custody this afternoon. A trial by public opinion has been conducted by leaking information and using the media to create an impression of guilt based on insinuation before actual evidence has been shown to the public.

Breaking News
Talking Show (大話新聞) just reported that Chen Shui-bian was beaten* (被打) by court bailiffs (法警) and that spokesman for the Wild Strawberries (野草莓) student protesters, National Taiwan University associate professor of sociology Lee Ming-tsung, (李明璁) was beaten by 4 police.

* UPDATE: This probably needs a clarification, but I'm not sure what kind yet. Reporters from ETTV and TVBS -- both very blue stations -- said that X-rays and other information indicated that Chen was indeed injured. Wednesday's Taipei Times mentions the claim that Chen "had been struck by a bailiff." [/update]

When they're at your front door, it'll be too late. Are you just gonna sit there, or are you going to go wake everybody up?

Blunt trauma wounds: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Press release on the Taiwan situation

Will the mainstream media do the right thing?

Coordinator: Taiwan Sovereignty Watch/ 台灣主權觀測站

Contact Info: Billy Pan 0968-718673、Michael 0935-156396、Luna 0917-228-367

Contact Email: ocotTaiwan@gmail.com

Who we are?

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.

Due to most appeals and protests are blocked and distorted seriously on the mainstream media in Taiwan. Therefore, we set up the website and blogs delivering our press release, reports and so on. We continue watching these matters and offering different materials in other languages.

Please further visit our website or contact us directly. We really need you to help us to speak our voice out at this key moment. If you have any further questions, please be free to leave your messages on our website or reply to us. We will try to reply to you soon. Thank you so much.

Official website: That will be free to use or cite the documents or photos.

http://ocot.tw/ (一中一台 / One China, One Taiwan)

http://www.ocot.tw/blog/ (Taiwan Sovereignty Watch)

**More photos or news in Chinese,you may visit Billy Pan's Blog: http://www.wretch.cc/blog/billypan101/14367606

【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 for 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:

1. The policy confiscated and damaged personal belongings of flags and balloons held by people at protest venues.

2. In the evening of November 2, four Taichung City Councilors, Chen Shu-hua (陳淑華), Chiu Su-chen (邱素貞), Chi Li-yu (紀麗玉) and Lai Chia-wei (賴佳微), 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.

3. 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.

4. Chen Yu-ching (陳育青), 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.

5. Hung Chien-yi (洪建益), 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.

6. 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.

7. On November 3rd, the Association of Taiwan Journalist issued that Cheng Chieh-wen (鄭傑文), 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.





由於中國政府長期打壓台灣在國際上的活動空間,不願承認台灣是一個主權獨立的國家,也不放棄武力犯台,包括台灣主要反對黨—民進黨在內的許多台灣民眾,憂心國民黨政府在無法在協商過程之中堅守台灣主權,並且質疑這次會談的透明度,他們預備在陳雲林的台灣行程之中,沿途抗議,表達「台灣中國,一邊一國」等訴求。抗議民眾也包括不滿中國鎮壓圖博的圖博人士,他們提出「Free Tibet」的口號。










Too many police in Taipei
Too many police in Taipei
(Click to enlarge)

The pain!
(Click to enlarge)

A woman's finger was dislocated by police because of the flag she was holding
This woman's finger was dislocated by police because of the flag she was holding
(Click to enlarge)

Pressure valves: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The beginnings of Martial Law 2.0

Ma will bring peace? Get the fuck outta here!

Let me say it up front, and let me say it loudly:

I can also say without much doubt that they're already pretty fucking tired of Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) administration.

The blue and red elephants in the room
As I mentioned earlier, martial law is being reintroduced to Taiwan, and the philistine police response to protesters as well as to people simply expressing their feelings is a clear indication of this situation.

People walking in unrestricted spaces have been grabbed by police for merely carrying ROC flags or video cameras. A music store (Sunrise Records [上揚唱片]) playing patriotic Taiwanese music was shut down by police, injuring at least one person inside and damaging store property. Two women peacefully carrying ROC and Tibetan flags were arrested, at least one being injured by police in the process. The police didn't cite any laws in these cases.

DPP politicians Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄), Huang Hsiang-chun (黃向群), Wang Hsiao-wei (王孝維), and Liu Yao-ren (劉耀仁) were walking near the Grand Hotel (圓山大飯店). One of them was clearly pushed to the ground by police, despite the non-violent behavior of the entire group.

When four DPP city councilors from Taichung unfurled two banners from the window of a room they had booked in the Grand Hotel before the arrival of Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), police forced their way into the room, removed the banners, and whisked the room's occupants away to the hotel's basement.

Pro-Taiwan banners are unfurled at the Grand Hotel
Pro-Taiwan banners are unfurled at the Grand Hotel ahead of Chen Yunlin's arrival
"Get out, commie bandit Chen Yunlin" and "Taiwan is Taiwan"
(Taipei Times photo)
(Click to enlarge)

Taxis are being asked by police to leave certain areas because of the flags on their roof lights.

Ma says he didn't hand down any such orders, but whether he did or not, he didn't express any opposition to the abusive actions of the police either.

Former DPP officials are also being rounded up and "being held incommunicado and without charge."

(It's kind of hard to finish this post because I've been watching police on TV doing things like punching people in the face, knocking them down, and dragging them along the ground.)

Wednesday's Taipei Times put the number of police personnel involved in this week's events at between 7,000 and 9,000.

Could this be the "anti-secession" law (which "legislates" the arbitrary use of "non-peaceful means" against Taiwan) coming into effect, as some have suggested? Chen Yunlin said that he "saw and heard" the protesters, after all.

Is everybody awake yet? How long have I been trying to alert the world? Don't wait until the bloggers, the Talking Show (大話新聞) hosts, and all of your friends get arrested before you do something. Immediately educate everyone you know about what's going on!

When the police enforce laws that don't exist, what else should you call it but (undeclared) "martial law"? You should acquaint yourself with some of its names:
Hanzi: 戒嚴

Pinyin: jièyán

Taiwanese/Hoklo/Holo: kaegiaam/kài-giâm

Hakka (客語): gai ngiam

Not-so-distant early warnings: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Best Political Blog?

And the winners are...

Taiwan Matters somehow managed to win the "Best Political Blog" category in Taiwanderful's Best Taiwan Blog Awards 2008. The other blogs in the running for this category were A-gu's (阿牛) That's Impossible: Politics from Taiwan, Robert Maguire's The Only Redhead in Taiwan, and two more recent entries into the Taiwan political blogsphere: DEMO! Taiwan Democracy Movement, and Daphne and two other Taiwanese-Americans write Taiwanese Heart, Global Perspectives (台灣心、國際眼).

Thanks to David and Fili for hosting the awards. Thanks also to everybody who voted for this blog.

Best Taiwan Blog Awards 2008
Best Taiwan Blog Awards 2008

Here are the rest of the winners in all categories. Go there, and get to know many more Taiwan blogs.

Irregular scheduling
We now return you to the impending martial law. Also take a look at the "FAPA statement on recent arrests" and "Worrisome Trends in Politicizing Law Enforcement?" via Michael Turton's blog. J. Michael Cole's blog also covers this with a post titled "Young Taiwanese fear authoritarian revival." YouTube user cassidytw posted a video called "國家危機_馬娘娘的政治謊言_自我閹割" (National crisis: Empress ("wussy") Ma's political lies, self-castration).
Chiang Kai-shek, Sun Yat-sen, and Mao Zedong... dolls!
(Click to enlarge)

Somebody's trophies: , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at Taiwan Matters!

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