The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it wants police officers who allegedly misbehaved or used excessive violence before and during the forceful eviction of protesters from the Executive Yuan on Monday morning to be held to account.
Police officers used batons, shields and water cannons to evict thousands of protesters who were occupying the Executive Yuan compound, injuring dozens of people.
The police have come under heavy public criticism for their action toward the crowd, which consisted largely of students staging a peaceful sit-in.
Photo: Lee Hsin-fang, Taipei Times
The DPP said it has collected 114 allegations of excessive violence committed by police officers, all of which include photographs or video clips provided by members of the public.
“Now that the reports of bloody violence have been proven true, the high-ranking officers who gave orders and the riot police on the front line of the crackdown should all be held responsible for the violence and be prosecuted,” DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a press conference in Taipei.
Holding up photographs of injured students covered in blood and students under attack, Lin said Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) had lied to the public when he said that police officers had only “tapped the students’ shoulders and removed them gently.”
Photo: Huang Mei-chu, Taipei Times
From a human rights and legal perspective, illegal orders should not be carried out, he said.
“Everyone who committed illegal violence — a police officer, a bureau chief or the National Police Agency director-general — should be held accountable,” Lin said.
Also angered by the violence, netizens have been searching the Internet and found what they say are several inappropriate Facebook messages posted by police officers before the crackdown began.
DPP member Wang Wei-chung (王威中) complained to the National Police Agency (NPA) over a posting by an officer identified only as “Prince Su.” The posting reportedly said the officer had brought condoms and “was ready to rape the female protesters in Taipei.”
The police officer, who is reportedly stationed in Greater Taichung, also posted a message before being deployed to Taipei that said: “These bastards [protesters] should have been run over by cars ... if you are not happy with me, come find me at the police station for a fight.”
The Taichung Police Department had initially responded to a complaint filed by a member of the public about the postings by saying there was no such officer in the department. However, yesterday it reversed its position and said the officer in question would be given two admonitions.
“The officer has violated Article 151 of the Criminal Code for disturbing public peace and deserves more than two admonitions,” Wang said.
Meanwhile, pictures of tanks and Internet posts by an official of the China Unification Promotion Party in Jhubei Township (竹北), Hsinchu County, have sparked controversy and were condemned by netizens for drawing a comparison with the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing in 1989.
Jhubei branch official Chiu Chih-jung (邱志榮) on Monday posted a picture of tanks massing and wrote: “Advance! There has not been blood since 64!” and “It is time to bring tanks to the [Po-Ai] Special District [where the Legislative Yuan, Executive Yuan and other key government offices are located],” alluding to the Chinese government’s use of tanks on June 4, 1989, to crush pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square.
Chiu also posted messages after the Executive Yuan was cleared, saying that he was happy and that “my eyes watered after seeing bloody images of [injured] students... I so much want to be a riot policeman.”
Despite criticisms from netizens, Chiu yesterday said he has done nothing wrong, because he is entitled to his own opinion, just as the student protesters have theirs.
Several netizens asked if such opinions reflected the thinking of civil servants, since Chiu used to work for the county government.
Hsinchu County Commissioner Chiu Ching-tun (邱鏡淳) said Chiu Chih-jung had only been a contract employee and that he left after the project he was hired for had ended.
While freedom of speech should be respected and cooler heads should prevail in debate over the service trade pact, Chiu Chih-jung’s rhetoric is out of line, the commissioner said.
However, he was not at liberty to discuss Chiu-Chih-jung’s personal matters, the commissioner added.
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