Thu, Dec 25, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Media criticized for Chen allegations, harassing daughter

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The office of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday lodged a protest against a magazine that it said was continuing to publish defamatory and groundless allegations about the former first family and urged media watchdogs to put a stop to irresponsible practices.

The office issued a statement dismissing the stories about the former first family published in the latest edition of Next Magazine, which went on sale yesterday. One of the reports claimed that Chen’s son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), had called his father an “idiot” for being superstitious and visiting fortune tellers.

The statement dismissed the reports as “fictitious.” It said over the past few months, the magazine had made groundless and derogatory allegations against the former president and his family on a weekly basis.

“We strongly protest and regret such practices, which trample on the fundamental human rights of others and are done purely for commercial gain,” the statement said.

The statement panned the media for hounding the former president’s daughter, Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤), who was almost involved in a traffic accident yesterday while she was attempting to get away from paparazzi who were following her to work.

Chen Hsing-yu is no longer under the protection of a security detail since the former president finished his term, the statement said, and some members of the media have been following her and interrupting her daily activities.

The statement urged the media to stop such “abnormal practices” and leave Chen Hsing-yu alone.

“Please give her some peace and quiet, so that no more conflicts or potential accidents can happen,” the statement said.

The office also called on media associations to pay attention to these “serious matters” and criticized the media for invading the privacy of members of the former president’s family under the pretext of press freedom.

“Please don’t let the media attack, smear or harass the family of the former president simply because they are for A-bian [Chen’s nickname] or against A-bian,” the statement said.

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