Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) began a hunger strike yesterday afternoon in support of the release of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who has been in prison since 2008 and suffers from multiple mental and physical disorders.
Accompanied by Chen’s son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), his sisters, Chen Hsiu-ching (陳秀金) and Chen Hsiu-chin (陳秀琴), as well as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and former minister of national defense Tsai Ming-shian (蔡明憲), Lu officially declared in front of the National Taiwan Museum that she would remain on a hunger strike until the government decides to release Chen Shui-bian.
Speaking at a news conference before retreating into a tent for the hunger strike, Lu accused the government of political interference in the judicial process and criticized what she called Chen Shui-bian’s inhumane treatment in prison and the rejection of his medical parole, which she said has contributed to the worsening of his mental and physical health to the degree that it is threatening his life.
Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times
“It’s because of these reasons that I am beginning a hunger strike,” she said.
Lu said the move was not only in support of Chen Shui-bian’s human rights, but also a gesture of her appreciation for Chen Shui-bian’s choice to make her vice president in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.
“Chen Shui-bian’s imprisonment has been a major cause of political polarization and releasing him could be a first step toward reconciliation and a brighter future for Taiwan,” Lu said, in tears as she spoke.
Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times
Chen Hsiu-chin said that as Lu is already in her 60s, “it is worrisome that she insists on going on a hunger strike in such cold weather.”
“I hereby call on [President] Ma [Ying-jeou, 馬英九] to let go of the hate that he harbors and let Chen Shui-bian go home,” she said.
Tsai also voiced concerns over Chen Shui-bian’s well-being, saying that the former president has said to him that if he dies in prison, “he would like to have his coffin paraded down Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building, before being taken to his home in Greater Tainan.”
Speaking on behalf of the DPP, Wu said: “Enough is enough,” calling on the government to release Chen Shui-bian immediately.
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
NEW HONG KONG LAW: A visit to Beijing-friendly nations or those with weak judicial systems could leave people at risk of deportation to China, a former MAC official said Beijing could request countries with which it has extradition agreements to deport Taiwanese to China to face criminal charges following the implementation of national security legislation for Hong Kong, a former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official warned yesterday. Some developing countries, and those close to China because of the Belt and Road Initiative, are likely to accommodate Beijing’s requests to extradite Taiwanese to China, said former deputy MAC minister Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺), who served from July 2, 2018, until May 20, and then returned to his former post as an assistant professor of sociology at National Tsing Hua University. While Taiwanese
IN THE PIPELINE: The Ministry of National Defense said the sale, expected to take effect in one month, would be the seventh arms sale under the Trump administration The government yesterday thanked the US for approving the possible sale of a US$620 million missile repair and recertification package to Taiwan. The US Department of State has approved the sale of a package to recertify Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington for an estimated US$620 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a news release on Thursday. The agency has delivered the required certification to the US Congress, notifying it of the possible sale, it added. The TECRO had requested to buy an upgrade package that would support an operational
INJURED: Several KMT lawmakers fought their way through DPP members into the legislative chamber, while others lay on a driveway to block Chen Chu Scuffles broke out at the Legislative Yuan yesterday as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers again occupied the legislative chamber, stymieing a report by Control Yuan presidential nominee Chen Chu (陳菊) and a question-and-answer session. The KMT lawmakers showed up at the back door of the chamber at about 5am and tried to enter, but were stopped by several Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers who were guarding the door. Scuffles broke out as the KMT lawmakers tried to force their way through the door, injuring legislators on both sides. KMT Legislator Hung Mong-kai (洪孟楷) tackled DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), while DPP Legislator Wu