Fri, Jan 15, 2010 - Page 4 News List

Tai Ji Men urges Ma to protect suspects’ rights

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝) and members of the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy yesterday urged the government to respect the human rights of those under investigation by prosecutors and prevent abuse of authority in the detention of suspects.

At a legislative press conference, Chu said Judicial Yuan statistics showed that 5,435 people were granted cash compensation for being detained or jailed on false charges between 1998 and 2008.

The amount of money totaled NT$4.6 billion (US$144.8 million), Chu said, adding that law enforcement personnel in charge of the cases were never held responsible.

Tai Ji Men founder Hong Tao-tze (洪道子), Hong’s wife Yu Mei-jung (游美容), and Hong’s disciples Chen Tiao-hsin (陳調欣) and Peng Li-chuan (彭麗娟) said they had been victims of abuse of power.

They said they were detained for several months in a fraud investigation in 1996, but were acquitted after nearly 11 months of trial.

The four Tai Ji Men members received about NT$1.8 million in compensation from the government, but they said “what was done [to them] can never be undone.”

They said they would donate the money to a human rights advisory committee the Presidential Office plans to establish, adding that they hoped what happened to them would never be repeated.

They were referring to a suggestion President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) made last Thursday asking relevant agencies to explore the feasibility of setting up a human rights advisory commission as a special unit under the Presidential Office to coordinate human rights policies and to prepare national human rights reports.

If Ma gets his wish, it would run counter to a January 2006 Legislative Yuan resolution requesting that non-institutional bodies set up under the Presidential Office be dissolved. As a result, then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) stopped the functions of the Human Rights Advisory Committee and the Science and Technology Advisory Committee to show the Presidential Office’s respect for the legislature.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER

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