Wed, Mar 26, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Officials face questions over bloody crackdown

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, center, attends a meeting of the Taipei City Council yesterday where Democratic Progressive Party councilors protested against the tactics used by police in removing protesters from the Executive Yuan, saying they were excessively forceful. Hau denounced the students after they broke into the Executive Yuan compound on Sunday and said he instructed police to take every necessary means to restore order.

Photo: CNA

Legislators are set to question the police chief and government officials today in a legislative committee over what has been described as one of the most bloody and violent crackdowns in recent memory when police evicted thousands of student protesters from the Executive Yuan in Taipei and injured dozens early on Monday morning.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), convener of the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee, said yesterday that he had demanded that three senior government officials report on the police force’s order-keeping mission during the past week and its crackdown on the protesters, which began on Sunday.

The officials are Executive Yuan Secretary-General Lee Shu-chuan (李四川), Minister of the Interior Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) and National Police Agency Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞).

The DPP called for the public to send in their photos and video clips recorded during the eviction of thousands of students and other protesters, who had broken off from the protest at the Legislative Yuan and took over the Executive Yuan compound on Sunday night.

DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅) told a press conference that the public is unaware of what actually took place at the Executive Yuan compound in the latter part of the eviction because journalists had been removed from the compound by then.

Many students were beaten and seriously injured during that period as police were free from media scrutiny and could do whatever they wanted, Lee Chun-yi said.

A number of video clips showing police officers using excessive violence that were uploaded to YouTube have been removed from the site for unknown reasons, prompting suspicion that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration had those videos “flagged” for violation of the site’s community guidelines.

The DPP has established a platform to collect evidence of the use of excessive force by police officers and is ready to take legal action against those who should be held accountable, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.

Several riot police officers might be facing attempted murder charges, lawyer Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said.

Huang said Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and Wang should also be held accountable for ordering the crackdown, adding that while the evacuation of reporters before the crackdown was not illegal, it could have infringed on the freedom of the press.

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) also condemned what it said was excessive use of force in a news conference and said that the party is considering filing a lawsuit against the police over a serious injury sustained by TSU Legislator Chou Ni-an (周倪安) during the crackdown.

Chou was knocked down by riot police during the eviction, which left her unconscious, Huang said.

The lawmaker suffered a bone fracture under one of her eyes and remained hospitalized.

Meanwhile, a number of women’s rights groups, including the National Alliance of Taiwan Women’s Associations and the Awakening Foundation, yesterday condemned the Executive Yuan’s decision to order the eviction.

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