Tue, Jan 18, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Probe requested on detention

HARSH TREATMENT MOFA called on Malaysian officials and asked for an official investigation into the alleged abuse of a Taiwanese businessman while in detention

By Melody Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Michel Lu yesterday visits Tung's Taichung Metro Harbor Hospital to express his concern to Chen Pao-chao, of Taichung County.

PHOTO:CNA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday called in Malaysia's representative to Taiwan, requesting an official investigation into Malaysian policemen's alleged abuse of a Taiwanese businessman.

Chen Pao-chao (陳寶照), a local incense oil dealer, was jailed by the Malaysian police on drug charges on Dec. 1 last year. At a press conference held in Taichung last Saturday, Chen said he was severely beaten in prison and accused Malaysian policemen of violating his human rights.

"We are still not clear about the details of this incident. This is a matter between two countries. If [the Malaysian police] cannot offer sufficient reasons why they arrested the businessman, we will protest against their actions and demand compensation," Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) told reporters yesterday.

Three officials from the Malaysian Friendship and Trade Center in Taipei met with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Quyang Jui-hsiung (歐陽瑞雄) yesterday afternoon to discuss the incident.

"We asked for an investigation into the event. The Malaysian officials said they would inform their government of our request," ministry spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said.

While the ministry awaited the results of the investigation, Mark Chen, Gary Lin (林松煥), the director-general of the ministry's Department of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, and Lu went to Tung's Taichung Metro Harbor Hospital to visit Chen Pao-chao yesterday afternoon.

"His doctors said he suffered injuries to one of his ears, his back and testicles," Lu said after the visit.

During last week's press conference, Chen Pao-chao, accompanied by Taichung County Commissioner Huang Chung-sheng (黃仲生) and some legislators, broke into tears as he described how he lost 11kg during his 43-day ordeal in the Malaysian prison.

"They tortured me repeatedly during interrogations. They threw me to the ground, hit my feet with plastic sticks, pinched my fingers and beat me in the stomach and chest with their fists. I was mentally traumatized and physically abused," the businessman said.

Chen Pao-chao, who returned to Taiwan last Friday night, said he arrived in Malaysia on Dec. 1 last year. That night, eight armed policemen approached him in a hotel parking lot in Kuala Lumpur when he and a friend went out for dinner.

"The policemen suspected my friend was a drug dealer and trailed him for a couple of days. However, they arrested me without any evidence of criminal activities. I asked to see Taiwanese consular officials and lawyers in Malaysia, but all my pleas were rejected," the businessman said.

Chen Pao-chao was released after intensive lobbying by Taiwanese consular officials and legislators, and said he was unfairly treated in Malaysia.

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