Wed, Apr 09, 2014 - Page 4 News List

TRADE PACT SIEGE: Offices warned activists, but did not spy: students

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

While overseas Taiwanese orchestrating a global protest campaign to support the Sunflower movement received warnings from Republic of China embassies and representative offices, reports that the offices had spied on and compiled lists of the names of activists were “an exaggeration,” the team in charge of the campaign said in a statement yesterday.

The deputy convener of the team responsible for the campaign in Australia, Oddis Tsai, authorized by and representing the Overseas 330 Global Association team, issued an announcement in the occupied Legislative Yuan yesterday responding to recent rumors the government had been spying on overseas Taiwanese students who participated in the support campaign abroad.

“The 330 global campaign supported by overseas Taiwanese was autonomously launched and each local movement was carried out in accordance with the local laws. And we believe that every action within the boundary of universal values, such as human rights and freedom of speech, should receive protection to the greatest extent,” he said.

Media reports that the government, via its overseas representative agencies, has been collecting the names of those who had participated in the overseas movements “was actually an exaggeration” and “not exactly conforming to the available information provided by the overseas participants and held by the local conveners,” the representative said.

However, Tsai said that there were indeed cases of overseas representative offices expressing their “concerns.”

“There were a few offices either publicly or privately contacting the local movement organizers to express their ‘concerns’ over the campaign, and the action had put unnecessary pressure on the organizers,” he said.

“We are calling upon the overseas representative agencies to be open-minded to different points of view and to refrain from discrediting and disgracing Taiwan’s democracy by interfering with the autonomous association and voices of overseas Taiwanese and by reviving the White Terror,” he said.

He also emphasized that they would appeal to international media and take legal action if further approaches to the students by the representative offices were reported.

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