Sun, Mar 23, 2014 - Page 3 News List

LEGISLATIVE SIEGE: Taipei mayor rules out use of force with students

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said that the city government respects people’s right to assembly and would not forcibly remove demonstrators occupying the legislative chamber.

The protest over the service trade pact that began on Tuesday evening was organized without gaining permission from police, as required by the Parade and Assembly Act (集會遊行法).

However, the legal requirement requiring organizers of a rally due to a sudden event to first obtain a permit was on Friday ruled unconstitutional by the Council of Grand Justices.

The rule that a permit is required has been criticized as a restriction on citizens’ right to assembly.

Although there was no application filed for the rally in the legislature, people have the right to assemble as stated by Thursday’s constitutional interpretation, Hau said yesterday.

“With that, the Taipei City government respects their rights,” he said.

The city government would not resort to the use of police force to end the protest, he added.

Hau said that he has spoken to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) by telephone, expressing his hope that the government would not forcibly remove the protestors from the building.

Ma and Jiang have promised that they will not to evict the protestors by force, Hau said.

Executive Yuan spokesperson Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) also pledged that the government would never order the forcible removal of the demonstrators.

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