Thu, Apr 26, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Intervene for Chen, rights advocate urges US panel

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A human rights advocate called for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the US Congress to intervene in what he said is Taiwan’s mistreatment of imprisoned former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

“Using a prison system to kill an opponent is savage and ruthless. The present government of Taiwan must not maim and kill using the slow and painful death by neglect,” Jack Healy, founder of the Human Rights Action Center, wrote in an article published by the Huffingtonpost.com yesterday.

Healy said the Taiwanese government has ignored Chen’s basic human rights with poor prison facilities and a refusal to provide Chen, whose prostate was found earlier this week to have two tumors, with basic medical treatment.

Chen “is at risk of dying in prison due to the Taiwanese government engaging in willful medical neglect. He is about to die imprisoned by a government he ran for years, because that government will not grant him the basic human right or reasonable care,” he wrote.

The advocate urged the commission and the US government to intervene with public statements and its strength to “help this abused prisoner, even if he is guilty of the corruption charges.”

Chen is serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence on bribery and corruption charges.

US Representative Dan Lungren last week had also sent a letter to the commission’s co-chairs, Representative Jim McGovern and Representative Frank Wolf, calling on them to take note of recent developments in Chen’s declining health.

Additional reporting by Staff writer

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