Fri, Mar 18, 2005 - Page 2 News List

New GIO minister vows to protect press freedom

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Pasuya Yao (姚文智) yesterday said that he will do his best to protect the freedom of the press.

"I am totally against any form of political involvement and interference [in the media] and will definitely do my best to maintain 100 percent press freedom for my fellow journalists," Yao said in response to a question by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Lawmaker Justin Chou (周守訓) during a legislative meeting yesterday morning.

Yao told Chou that the government has made a lot of progress in protecting the freedom of the press in Taiwan.

"I was a reporter as well. The reason why I left the media was that I could not agree with what those higher up asked me to do. Today, I am the GIO minister. I may not be able to protect the safety of my fellow journalists, but I will definitely be able to protect their rights," Yao said.

During their discussion, a 52-year-old man protested in front of the GIO's offices with a chef's knife and a bottle of gas in his hands.

The man, who was only identified by his surname, Miao, loudly requested to meet Yao in person. He set flame to the gas, but was apprehended by police officers.

The man was arrested and brought to Chungcheng First Precinct for questioning. The police said that a preliminary investigation showed that Miao is passionate about politics and was trying to urge President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to not participate in the March 26 rally to protest China's new "Anti-Secession" Law.

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