The “White Rose” movement yesterday accused the government of arresting and jailing people only after public protests force it to do so, comments that came in the wake of the arrest of a taxi driver suspected of sexually assaulting a Japanese exchange student last week.
Hsieh Tung-hsien (謝東憲) was charged with rape and fled his apartment after being released on bail last week. Police arrested him near a cemetery in Tucheng District (土城), New Taipei City (新北市), at 11am yesterday, where he was allegedly waiting for a friend he had contacted to lend him money for his escape.
Hsieh was ordered detained at 2pm by the Banciao District Court.
Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times
Investigators said the exchange student was allegedly raped on Monday last week by Hsieh, who had offered her a ride after she got lost looking for her boyfriend’s apartment in a remote area of Tucheng District.
Police arrested him the next day and he admitted to having sex with the woman, but denied the rape charge, saying it was a one-night stand.
Despite his arrest on charges of sexual assault, Banciao District Court judge Lu Chun-chieh (盧軍傑) on Wednesday ordered Hsieh released on NT$50,000 bail, sparking outrage among netizens, who started a “Petition for the dismissal of the judge [who approved the bail]” on Facebook, which garnered more than 180,000 online fans.
While the Banciao District Prosecutors’ Office successfully appealed his release with the Taiwan High Court on Friday, Hsieh had by that time jumped bail and police were unable to locate him until yesterday.
Eva, the spokeswoman for the White Rose movement, an organization created in August last year after several cases of child molestation resulted in judgements that were largely seen as slaps on the wrist, said that as many as 74 people across Taiwan were high-risk repeat sexual offenders, with 200 more who were considered at medium-to-high risk of committing rape.
However, the government refuses to release information about those potential threats to society, which puts women at unnecessary risk, Eva said, adding that the White Rose movement would take to the streets at the end of this month.
The rally will take place on July 31 in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, she said.
The date coincides with the opening of the gates of the dead, the beginning of “Ghost Month” according to the lunar calendar, Eva said.
Some netizens said the “good brothers and sisters [ghosts]” would also take to the streets in protest and eliminate the “bad ghosts” that might again commit rape.
“How long must we wait before the government takes this problem seriously?” Eva asked, adding that although the public always made clear their anger at the erroneous judgements of so-called “dinosaur judges,” a similar event would likely happen again somewhere down the line.
WITH TRANSLATION BY JAKE CHUNG, STAFF WRITER
‘FREEDOM WINE’: Taiwanese are empathetic of Australians, the president said, while lawmakers called on their constituents to drink Australian wine to show their support Taiwan would take action to back Australians at a time when they are “under tremendous pressure,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, as tensions between Australia and China heated up. Taipei and Canberra have been mutually supportive in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in exchanging critical medical materials in the early stages, Tsai said, before chairing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Central Standing Committee meeting in Taipei. Taiwan and Australia are like-minded nations, sharing the common values of democracy, freedom and human rights, while their economic and trade relations have also become close, she said. Canberra has been voicing support for Taiwan’s international
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
CECC RULES: The autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program, including mandatory mask wearing in eight types of public venues and indoor facilities, begins today A temporary, two-week ban on Indonesian migrant workers entering the nation is to begin on Friday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday as it reported 24 new imported cases of COVID-19. Twenty of the new cases are Indonesian migrant workers who arrived between Nov. 11 and Friday last week, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The cases were discovered during a special project on Friday to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on all 939 recently arrived Indonesian migrant workers in centralized quarantine facilities, as the majority of imported cases in the past
Passports with a redesigned cover highlighting Taiwan would be issued starting on Jan. 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The new cover design, which was announced on Sept. 2, highlights Taiwan by printing the word in a larger font. While the new passport cover retains “the Republic of China” in Chinese, the English name is printed along the outer circle of the national emblem, which would enable other nations to clearly identify that it is a Taiwanese passport, not a Chinese passport, the ministry said. The costs and application procedures for the new version are the same as