First responders on Sunday thwarted an apparent suicide attempt by Aquarius Publishing’s editor-in-chief Chu Ya-chun (朱亞君), who had threatened to jump from her high-rise apartment in Taipei’s Wenshan District (文山).
Firefighters arrived at the scene at 8:55pm and found Chu preparing to jump.
After one hour, Chu was convinced to stand down by her friends, family and a psychiatrist who police officers summoned to the scene, police said.
Chu told police her suicide attempt was caused by media reports that she had displayed “condescension” by refusing to publish a book by Lin Yi-han (林奕含), which led to the young writer’s suicide on April 27, police said.
Guerrilla Publishing picked up her sole novel, Fang Ssu-chi’s First Love Paradise (房思琪的初戀樂園), which became a best-seller.
Lin’s death and alleged sexual abuse by a teacher became the source of much public controversy and the case is still under criminal investigation.
In a story entitled When Fang Ssu-chi Became Real, the Chinese-language online media outlet Taiwan Reporter said Lin’s suicide was connected to her manuscript’s rejection by “a famous publishing house,” an apparent reference to Aquarius.
Chu denies her characterization in those accounts.
In a Facebook post shortly before the incident on Sunday night, Chu said Taiwan Reporter refused to let her respond to the article, adding that its “sensational language” had put her “on trial by public opinion.”
In an earlier post dated Wednesday last week, Chu said she was impressed with Lin’s manuscript, but decided against publishing out of her growing sense of alarm that publicity might prove dangerous to the troubled author, whom she talked with several times.
Chu made oblique references to her impending suicide attempt in the Facebook post on Sunday, and witnesses said they heard Chu shouting from a window: “If I do not die today, they will cyberbully me again tomorrow.”
Taiwan Reporter at 1am yesterday issued a retraction of the article, apologizing for “not having interviewed the key people involved in the story and thereby failing to perform due diligence in abiding by the rules of balanced reporting.”
The references to Chu and Aquarius Publishing in When Fang Ssu-chi Became Real have been removed from its Web site, Taiwan Reporter said, adding that the reporting errors were not motivated by malice.
“Third parties are urged to refrain from making ad hominem attacks or conspiratorial speculations against any of the individuals involved, including Chu, Aquarius and Guerilla Publishing,” it said.
Additional reporting by Lin Mei-hsueh
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung