Tue, Sep 22, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Chen Chu gives support to film, human rights

PROTESTS The mayor said Kaohsiung's image as a supporter of freedom would suffer if it were to cancel screenings of the film on the Uighur activist

By Flora Wang and Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Both films were scheduled to be shown in this section.

“We regret that Mayor Chen Chu failed to defend the professionalism and independence of the festival and dishonored the 'city of human rights' title that Kaohsiung has given itself,” the two said in a joint statement.

“Bowing to political pressure and showing the film in a 'special screening' before the festival is not only a humiliation to the filmmaker, but also a rejection of the dream that Rebiya Kadeer pursues,” they said.

“Since the Kaohsiung City Government did not carefully consider all factors and does not respect the professionalism and independence of the festival, we would like to express our deepest regrets and withdraw our films,” the statement said.

DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday urged the central government to intervene, instead of letting the city government shoulder all the pressure from China.

“Cross-strait relations are the responsibility of the central government,” Tsai said. “It should share some of the burden.”

DPP spokesman Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said the party would “respect Kaohsiung's decision as an independent government body.”

However, the party would try to hold screenings of the film around the country, Chao said.

Also See: EDITORIAL: Between obstinence and capitulation

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