Citizen 1985, an activist group, is urging the public to “bid farewell” to army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) tomorrow by taking to the streets of Taipei in another protest against his untimely death.
The group also criticized the work of military prosecutors, saying they had closed their investigation hastily and sloppily at a time when the legislature is seeking to revise certain laws so that those suspected of abusive practices can be tried in a civilian court.
Hung, a 24-year-old conscript, died of severe heatstroke after being ordered to do strenuous exercises in detention in sweltering weather.
The drills were part of the corporal’s penalty for taking a smartphone with a camera onto his base, an offense that should not have merited physical punishment.
Hung collapsed on July 3, his sixth day in the detention center and died hours later, just two days before his scheduled discharge.
Citizen 1985 said in a statement that it was outraged at the way the military investigation into his death had been rushed.
The statement came after military prosecutions indicted 18 senior officers and non-commissioned officers earlier in the day on charges of offenses against personal freedom and of collective abuse in the case.
Citizen 1985 said that in the indictment, the case was merely defined as the result of a sergeant’s abuse of a subordinate and the operational flaws of several officers at the detention center.
The indictment failed to detail the motives of the high-ranking officers who signed off on the paperwork for Hung’s confinement, the group said.
The military prosecutors have “nailed low-level soldiers and let high-ranking officers off the hook,” it said.
The group called for an investigation of the Hung case by the civilian judiciary system, saying that the military judicial system is not in tune with social norms.
Citizen 1985, which organized a July 20 protest by more than 30,000 people near the Ministry of National Defense, called on people to protest tomorrow on Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei to “seek the truth and call for human rights,” while bidding farewell to Hung.
Hung’s funeral is planned for Sunday.