The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Poland has denied requesting a retraction of a Polish media report that draws parallels between the police removal of protesters from the Executive Yuan and actions in Ukraine’s central square, Maidan, according to a Central News Agency (CNA) report from Berlin.
The office said it was unfortunate that “some domestic media outlets, paraphrasing the Polish reporter, considered the exchange of views between the bureau and the local [Polish] media — which is normal — as interfering with freedom of speech.”
In an article published by the Taipei Times on Sunday, the letter that Polish reporter Hanna Shen received — written by TECO to the editor-in-chief of Niezalezna.pl — is quoted as saying: “Therefore, I sincerely request that appropriate retraction can be made to present the current picture of this news story and avoid misunderstanding among people in Poland and Taiwan.”
Yet the CNA quotes the office as saying: “But the office did not ask for a retraction of the report.”
TECO said the analogy made by the Polish reporter, between the crackdown by police on the Executive Yuan occupation and that of Maidan in Kiev, where protesters were treated brutally by the police, might mislead readers in their “understanding of Taiwan,” the CNA report said.
“Each country’s embassies and agencies are attentive to the reporting of the local media. Freedom of press has always been a value cherished by the Polish media, which is willing to communicate with [those with different views] from the outside,” CNA quoted the office as saying.
“And [the office] respects freedom of the press and has always abided to the principle, but false reporting about our country has to be clarified immediately and the media outlet urged to make balanced report lest readers be misled,” the office said.
The letter sent to the editor-in-chief of Niezalezna.pl was signed by the director of the office’s public affairs Colin Kao.