The Executive Yuan yesterday announced that April 7 would be Freedom of Expression Day to commemorate the death of democracy activist Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), who died on April 7, 1989.
Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said that the democracy and freedom that Taiwanese enjoy is the result of past civil rights movements, and Deng paved the way for reform as his actions aroused public awareness of the importance of freedom of speech.
On April 7, 1989, Deng, then editor-in-chief of Freedom Era Weekly, set himself on fire as police attempted to break into his office after he had been barricaded inside for 71 days to avoid arrest after he was charged with sedition for the anti-government views expressed in his magazine, which published a draft “Republic of Taiwan constitution” in 1988.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
At the time, Article 100 of the Criminal Code banned the advocacy of replacing the Republic of China Constitution to mark the founding of a new nation, with those convicted liable to be sent to prison for life.
The article was amended in 1992, making it punishable only when such advocacy involves the use of violence.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), when attending a ceremony to commemorate the 27th anniversary of Deng’s death in New Taipei City’s Jinshan District (金山) this year, said her administration would make the day Freedom of Expression Day to commemorate the activist, which had been one of Tsai’s election campaign pledges.
The designation and celebration of Freedom of Expression Day is to familiarize the public with the meaning of the freedom of speech, Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) quoted the premier as saying.
Government agencies, including the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, have been asked to organize celebratory events and commemorative programs to deepen public awareness of democracy, Hsu said.
Additional reporting by CNA
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time