Taiwan Rural Front (TRF) president and National Chengchi University professor Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮) yesterday rebutted comments made by Central Police University associate professor Yeh Yu-lan (葉毓蘭) that Hsu had asked to be sent to the prosecutors’ office after being arrested at a protest on Wednesday, ostensibly so that he could make claims of police abuse.
“The remarks made by Professor Yeh are not true. Yeh was not at the scene of the protest or present when I was arrested, so I have no idea where she got these so-called ‘facts' from,” Hsu said.
Hsu was responding to local media reports about Yeh’s comments, which were posted on her Facebook page, in which she claimed that Hsu had asked police to take him to the prosecutor’s office.
“Hsu ran toward the presidential convoy and sat in the middle of the road. The police removed him with force in accordance with the law,” Yeh wrote in a Facebook post.
“After questioning and having a discussion with the prosecutor, [the police] thought the offense was not very serious and told Hsu that he could leave,” the message read. “But after discussion with his lawyer, Hsu asked the police to send him to the prosecutors’ office, saying that social activists need a chance to express themselves. And now they are accusing the police of abusive arrest. What a false accusation.”
Hsu denied Yeh’s comments.
“For the past few days, I have not wanted to reveal in detail what happened after my arrest, because I think the truth could damage the police’s image, but now I think I have to tell the public what really happened to defend my honor,” he said.
Hsu said that after he was arrested at about 11am, he was sent to a police station on Chongqing N Road and later transferred to Datong Police Precinct.
“When I arrived at the precinct at about 4pm or 5pm, I suppose that because of the public pressure that the news about my arrest incited, the officer told me that they could either send me to the prosecutor, or, I could tell the public that I went to the precinct voluntarily to explain myself on the police’s invitation, instead of being arrested, and they could set me free right away,” Hsu said.
“I refused, telling the officer that I can’t just think about myself. I have to take into consideration the movement and the TRF since I am the TRF president. Accepting his conditions would cause harm to the movement and the organization,” Hsu said.
Hsu and several other protesters shouted protest slogans about the Maioli County Government’s forcible demolition of houses in Dapu Borough (大埔) as the presidential convoy was leaving the inauguration ceremony of the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Taipei.
Hsu was arrested and charged with endangering public safety. After five hours of questioning, Hsu was released by the prosecutor, who believed his acts did not meet the criteria for the charge and criticized police for their mistake.