Mon, Aug 01, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Legislator attacks rights groups over new sex law

WHITE ROSE MOVEMENT:Ting Shou-chung said that the groups were protecting the wrong people from exposure and castration, but they say human rights are universal

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff Reporter

Activists attach white roses to an iron gate outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday during a rally to push for an amendment to ensure tougher punishment for sex offenders. A white rose is the symbol of a movement that last year protested against what the organizers said were “dinosaur” judges.

PHOTO: Patrick Lin, AFP

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) yesterday accused human rights groups of blocking revisions to the Sexual Assault Prevention Act (性侵害犯罪防治法) and said they were protecting the “bad people” instead of the “good people.”

“The process to adopt amendments to the Sexual Assault Prevention Act was stalled because the so-called human rights groups are trying to block it,” Ting told the crowd demonstrating outside the legislature urging lawmakers to adopt amendments that would allow exposure of personal information and chemical castration of high-risk sex offenders.

“What they [human rights groups] are doing is protecting the bad people, instead of the good people,” Ting said. “What the White Rose movement should do is convince the small number of so-called human rights groups to protect the rights of the majority.”

Ting was referring to the White Rose Social Care Association, which for several years has been campaigning for stricter laws on sex offenses and organized yesterday’s rally.

The demonstrators bowed and brought white roses to pay their respect to sex offense victims in front of the legislature and then slowly walked to Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office, where they staged a protest.

“We are disappointed that the amendments were not passed despite promises,” White Rose convener Eva Liang (梁毓芳) said. “We will continue the campaign and will publicize the list of lawmakers who are reluctant to support the revision and ask voters not to vote for them.”

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇), who attended the rally, said she supported the revisions, adding that they did not raise concerns of human rights violations.

“In the White Rose’s version of draft amendments, chemical castration can only be applied with the consent of a sex offender,” Tien said. “If the person agrees to it, it’s not a violation of human rights.”

In a separate setting, Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Tsai Chi-hsun (蔡季勳) rebutted accusations that human rights advocacy groups were trying to “protect the bad people.”

“We believe that human rights are universal, and there should not be a division of so-called ‘bad people’ or ‘good people,’ because everyone enjoys the same rights,” Tsai said by telephone.

“We also support revisions to the law and better protection for the public against sex offenses, but it’s not the best idea to label sex offenders that way, especially after they have finished their treatment or jail time,” Tsai said.

The rally in front of the Presidential Office concluded at 10pm and the participants urged more action if their requests were not met.

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