Free Speech In Taiwan

Taiwanese students in the U.S., trying to share these events in Taiwan with the world.

Protest police brutality! Defend freedom and human rights!(Sit-in Activity Statement)

with 3 comments

Starting on November 3, with the visit of representatives from China's
Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) to sign various
agreements with our government , police officers have engaged in numerous
abusive acts against peaceful protestors from various dissenting groups,
under the guise of "keeping the peace". These acts have included arbitrary
searches and prohibitions, seizure and destruction of property, physical
assault, dispersion, and even arrest and detention. The vast majority of the
victims of this police brutality were nowhere near ARATS Chairman Chen
Yunlin, and were simply passing, standing, or photographing various areas
when they were victimized.

Through reports in the media, we have come to realize the seriousness of the
current situation. It is no longer a technical question of excessive law
enforcement tactics, nor is it simply a partisan issue between supporters of
various political parties. This is a proliferation of state sponsored
violence that is provoking and attacking civil society. All these oppressive
acts, which ignore human rights and democratic values are reminiscent of
martial law. Even legislators from the ruling party have expressed concern
over this issue to the Executive Yuan, only to see the chief authority -
Premier Liu, dodge responsibility while providing only the flimsiest of
excuses. We are stunned and outraged by this response, as well as ashamed and
increasingly uneasy.

We must ask: Does increasing cross-Strait exchange require Taiwan to lower
its standards of freedom and democracy, in order to achieve the same level of
repressive authoritarian rule that China has?

In only a few short days, the liberal democracy that the people of Taiwan
have fought so hard for has nearly collapsed amid massive police presence in
the city, and the atmosphere of fear and repression that it brings. Behind
its police state-like barricades, our government remains blinded by its
delusions of a "meeting of historic proportions", and indulge itself in its
receptions and banquets. Through this all, the peoples' constitutionally
guaranteed rights to freedom of speech and movement have been cast aside, and
even forgotten.

As many of their actions are unconstitutional, it is not surprising that not
a single police officer before the cameras has been able to definitively
state what law empowers them to carry out the orders issued to them by their
superiors. Police officers are supposed to be civil servants charged with
protecting the people. Yet under the outrageous requests issued from above,
they have become thugs restricting and punishing the people for expressing
their opinions. We have no intention of blaming individual police officers
who can only obey orders issued by their superiors. Rather, we solemnly
demand that the highest authorities in the government bear the largest share
of political responsibility for these abuses.

We are simply a group of university professors, students, cultural workers,
and citizens who are concerned about Taiwan's current state of disorder and
future development. At 11AM on November 6, without any support or
mobilization from any political party or civic group, we will assemble at the
gate of the Executive Yuan in black clothes and face masks symbolizing our
painful protest, and will join hands sitting in civil disobedience until our
requests are met. Our requests include:

President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Liu Chao-shiuan must publicly apologize to
all citizens.

National Police Agency Director-General Wang Cho-chiun and National Security
Bureau Director Tsai Chao-ming must step down.

The Legislative Yuan must revise the Parade and Assembly Law, which currently
restricts the rights of the people.(Translated by Loren Chang, 海天)

從11月3日開始,中國海協會代表團來臺與政府簽署各項協定,同時在臺北各處,就陸續
出現警方藉「維安」之名,對各類以和平方式表達不同意見者,進行粗暴的盤查、損毀、
沒收、禁制、拉扯、驅離甚至拘捕。絕大多數遭致警察暴力相向的民眾,根本不曾靠近陳
雲林人身,有的市民甚至只是路過、停留或單純拍攝記錄,即遭受上述對待。

透過媒體畫面傳送,我們驚覺事態嚴重
這已經不是維安有否過當的技術問題、更不只是政黨認同選擇的問題,而是暴力化的國家
公權,對市民社會的嚴重挑釁和侵犯。所有彷彿戒嚴、罔顧自由人權與民主價值的管控鎮
壓,連執政黨的國會議員都質問行政院長;卻只見身為最高責任主管的劉揆,仍在輕佻地
詭辯和推責。實在令人既錯愕憤怒,又深感羞辱和不安。

我們不禁要問:難道要強化兩岸經貿交流,也必須透過降低臺灣的民主自由程度、以達成
與中國同樣極權統治的水準嗎?

才不過短短幾天,臺灣人民好不容易匍匐建立的民主自由體制,在滿城的警力、威嚇的氛
圍與強勢的防堵中,幾近崩解。我們政府,在如同警察國家的武裝保護裡,自我陶醉於「
歷史性儀式」的想像、與酒酣耳熱的輪番大宴中。於此,憲法所保障人民的自由言論與行
動權利,完全地被擱置、甚至忘卻。

因為多數的強勢作為根本違憲違法,無怪乎鏡頭前沒有一個警察能理直氣壯說出,他們根
據何種「法律」,執行這般上級交待的勤務。警察原是保護人民的公僕,如今在這政府由
上而下的嚴峻要求中,竟競相成了限制與懲罰人民表達意見的打手。我們無意歸咎個別只
能服從上命的員警,相對的,我們嚴正要求下達此一惡令的政府高層,必須負起最大的政
治責任。

我們只是一群憂心臺灣混亂現況與未來發展的大學教授、學生、文化工作者和市民,在沒
有任何政黨與團體動員及奧援的前提下,十一月六日(四)上午十一點,將自發性地集結
於行政院大門前,以「著黑衣、戴口罩」作為沈痛抗議的象徵,並牽手靜坐至訴求達成為
止。我們的訴求是:

一、 馬英九總統和行政院長劉兆玄必須公開向國人道歉。
二、 警政署長王卓鈞、國安局長蔡朝明,應立刻下臺。
三、 立法院應儘速修改限縮人民權利的「集會遊行法」。

Written by freespeechintaiwan

November 7, 2008 at 4:38 am

3 Responses

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  1. Can I post this on my blog? I’m also a student who joined the protest.
    I will wait for your reply, Thank you.

    Karenina Huang

    November 7, 2008 at 7:22 am

  2. I’m very proud of your efforts in attempting to amend the current restrictions of human rights in Taiwan. I am further impressed with your fearless actions against daunting threats of police power brutality.

    David T. Lee

    November 20, 2008 at 6:10 am

  3. I am very proud and happy for you. I’m glad that you care about your own future and future of your next generations for freedom and democracy.

    Janet Lee

    November 20, 2008 at 6:13 am


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