Lin Li-ying (林黎影), daughter of 228 Incident victim Lin Chieh (林界), yesterday accused the police of threatening victims’ families amid rumors that they planned to throw shoes at President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) at an event to remember the victims on Saturday.
“A police officer [from the local Chenggong Road Police Station in Kaohsiung] came to my house on Friday, but since I wasn’t home, he went to the place of my neighborhood chief instead,” Lin Li-ying, who lives in Kaohsiung, told the Taipei Times by telephone.
When Lin Li-ying got home, the neighborhood chief rushed to her house, asking if she would take part in the 228 memorial event “because the police were looking for me,” she said.
Lin Li-ying contacted the police station afterwards and was told that the police wanted to know how many people would participate in the event and what activities they had planned, she said, adding that such inquiries had never occurred before.
“The officer said he had to ask because ‘someone above’ wanted to know,” Lin Li-ying said. “I suspect that the police are doing this because they are worried that we will throw shoes at Ma when he attends the memorial event.”
Media reported earlier this month that victims’ families planned to throw shoes at Ma to protest his cross-strait policies and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) proposal to cut the 228 Memorial Foundation budget.
“I haven’t heard of anyone talking about throwing shoes at Ma and I wouldn’t do it either, because my shoes are too pretty to throw at him,” Lin Li-ying said.
The Chenggong Road Police Station declined to comment when contacted by telephone, but a Kaohsiung police officer with experience handling demonstrations and other public events who spoke on condition of anonymity said the whole thing may be a misunderstanding.
“We always contact event organizers in advance to get an idea of how many people will be there and what they plan to do,” the officer said.
However, he criticized the handling of the matter.
“You can’t just pop in and ask questions like this — you should always try to establish a good relationship with [organizers] so that there will be some basic trust between you,” the officer said.
“After all, these people are the families of victims of political persecution. Of course they will be more sensitive to police questioning,” the officer said.
Lin Li-ying’s father, Lin Chieh, who was chief of Lingya District (苓雅) in Kaohsiung, was killed by the KMT government during the 228 Incident in 1947.
Her mother, Hu Chin-hua (胡錦華) later committed suicide because she could no longer take the humiliation and discrimination from others because of her husband’s death, leaving Lin Li-ying and her sister Lin Li-tsai (林黎彩) orphaned.