Sun, Jul 24, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Four sentenced to prison for removing, dumping ROC flags

Staff writer, with CNA

The Taipei District Court on Wednesday sentenced four people to between two and four months in prison for removing and damaging national flags in Taipei in October last year.

Chen Miao-ting (陳妙婷) and Chen Yi-ting (陳儀庭) were each sentenced to three months in prison.

The two other defendants, a man surnamed Liao (廖) and a woman surnamed Hsu (許), were sentenced to two months and four months respectively.

Hsu was given a longer sentence than the other three for “showing no remorse,” attempting to prolong the trial and potentially causing a waste of judicial resources, the court said in its verdict.

The defendants can file an appeal to be heard in a higher court.

As part of their “movement to fight colonialism,” the four removed 15 flags that had been flying on a bridge in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華) and dumped them under the bridge, court records said.

Chen Miao-ting later posted a video of the incident on Facebook, which was seen by police. The four were subsequently indicted by local prosecutors.

During the trial, the defendants admitted to removing and discarding the flags, but said that they did it because the Republic of China flag represents a colonial regime that has illegally occupied Taiwan.

The Criminal Code stipulates that “a person who, with the purpose of insulting the ROC, openly damages, removes or dishonors the emblem or the flag of the ROC shall be sentenced to no more than one year in prison, or given a fine of no more than NT$9,000.”

In February, Chen Miao-ting and Chen Yi-ting were each given a two-month sentence in Chiayi County for damaging public property in December last year, when they splashed red paint on statues donated to the National Palace Museum Southern Branch by Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan (成龍), who is also a member of China’s top political consultative body.

Chen Yi-ting was also detained for 20 days last month for burning an ROC flag in October last year.

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