The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) has appealed to the White House to help ensure former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) receives the medical care he needs.
In a letter to US President Barack Obama, FAPA president Mark Kao (高龍榮) said that Chen desperately needed medical parole to receive hospital treatment.
Chen is currently serving 17-and-a-half years in prison on two concurrent sentences related to corruption charges.
The letter is FAPA’s latest move as it steps up a campaign to draw attention to what it called Chen’s deteriorating health and “demeaning” living conditions.
Earlier this week, FAPA began organizing US lawmakers to aid Chen.
In his letter to Obama, Kao said: “On behalf of our community we respectfully request that you strongly urge the government of Taiwan to grant former president Chen medical parole in order to receive adequate medical treatment in a timely manner.”
Kao said in a later interview: “We decided to appeal to Obama since we believe that he highly values human rights.”
“Such demeaning conditions as currently being endured by Chen are unprecedented in the treatment of a former head of state of a democratic country,” he said.
“The fact that Chen is held in a damp, undersized cell which he has to share with a cellmate is an obvious attempt by the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to humiliate him,” Kao said, adding that Chen was not allowed a bed, a chair or a desk and had to sit and write on the floor.
“It is not only demeaning to him as a person, but also undermines the quality of the democracy in our homeland. It is reminiscent of the ways the old Chinese emperors dealt with their predecessors,” he said.
“There is no place for this kind of treatment in our modern day and age,” he added.
Chen was recently hospitalized and diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome, significantly reduced blood flow and a prostate tumor.
It was also discovered that he had been receiving anti-anxiety medication for the past 14 months, allegedly without his knowledge or consent.
Chen’s doctors attribute his “degraded physical condition” to an inactive life style and long-term deprivation of sunlight.
The former president is only allowed 30 minutes of outdoor exercise a day.
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit