Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday accused the National Security Bureau (NSB) of monitoring hundreds of students, academics and activists involved in protests over land expropriation in Dapu Borough (大埔), Miaoli County.
“[The monitoring] is a modern-day White Terror. We ask the national security agencies to immediately stop such monitoring,” DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) told a press conference.
Chen said the watch list included film directors Yang Ya-che (楊雅吉吉), Leon Dai (戴立忍) and Ko I-cheng (柯一正), university student group leaders Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) and Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) and several professors, including Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮), Liao Pen-chuan (廖本全) and Frida Tsai (蔡培慧).
The people on the watch list were either being wiretapped, spied upon or investigated by police or bureau investigators, and anyone on the list who shows up at events attended by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) or Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) would be closely watched and removed, if necessary, Chen said.
The NSB has “instructed” the military, the military police, the police, prosecutors, the Ministry of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation and the Ministry of Education to gather information about people who were active in the protests, the lawmaker said.
However, on Monday, the National Police Agency denied the accusation by Lala Lin (林羿含), a singer who performed at an Aug. 16 rally in Miaoli, that she had been put on a watch list and police officers had visited her home in Greater Tainan.
DPP Legislator Wu Yi-chen (吳宜臻) said the NSB’s actions have violated the public’s freedom of speech and right to assembly. Students should not be placed on a watch list just for attending protests, Wu said.
The NSB issued a press release yesterday denying the accusations. The statement said the bureau was in charge of intelligence gathering and the planning and execution of special tasks.
“The bureau does not engage in those practices that go beyond its authorization,” it said.