Former New Taipei City deputy mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) was on Thursday criticized by the Nylon Cheng Liberty Foundation over comments he made about his involvement in an incident in 1989 which led to democracy activist Deng Nan-jung’s (鄭南榕) self-immolation.
Hou was clearly avoiding taking any responsibility because of his participation in the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) New Taipei City mayoral primary, the foundation said in a statement in response to remarks Hou made in an interview with the Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) that he was only following orders when he led a group of police officers who surrounded and attempted to enter Deng’s office at Freedom Era Weekly (自由時代) magazine in January 1989.
Deng was charged with sedition for publishing a draft “Taiwan Republic Constitution” in his magazine.
On April 7, 1989, the 71st day of his self-imprisonment at the magazine, Deng set himself on fire.
At the time Hou was head of the Taipei Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division.
In the interview Hou said that, apart from attempting to make a warranted arrest, the police’s mission was also about saving a life, adding that it was “not completely successful.”
Deng had publicly declared at the time that “the KMT will only take my body; they will never take me alive,” the foundation said, adding that Hou should have understood that clear message.
“Former Nazi SS member Oskar Groening never personally killed anyone, but in 2015, at the age of 94, he was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people and sentenced to four years in prison for his involvement in the genocide at the Auschwitz concentration camp,” the foundation said.
Hou’s claim that he was trying to “save a life” is hypocritical and is an attempt to cover up the truth, the foundation added.
“Avoiding the truth of the past is a secondary injury,” Deng Nan-jung’s daughter, Deng Chu-mei (鄭竹梅), said in a statement issued by the foundation in response to Hou’s comments.
As potential a candidate for a mayoral position, [Hou] should explain in detail his philosophy about the past so that it can be assessed by voters, Deng Chu-mei said.
Hou should not use upsetting Deng Nan-jung’s family as an excuse to avoid talking about it, she added.
When asked about the foundation and Deng Chu-mei’s response, Hou said he understands, embraces and respects the opinions of Deng Nan-jung’s family.
Additional reporting by Yeh Kuan-yu
The chief mechanic in an air force unit from which an F-16 and its pilot went missing last week died on Sunday evening in what might have been a suicide, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. The ministry in a statement confirmed media reports that the mechanic, surnamed Huang (黃), “hurt himself” at a military barracks. Huang was taken to Hualien Armed Forces General Hospital after he was found unresponsive in the barracks, but doctors could not revive him, the ministry said. Huang served in the 26th Tactical Fighter Group of the 5th Tactical Fighter Wing, the same unit as the missing
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) last night said that it had no comment about reports that a senior US Navy officer had arrived in Taipei for a visit. Several media outlets reported that Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, director of intelligence of the US Indo-Pacific Command, arrived at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) on a special charter flight at about 7pm. The schedule of a “senior US official” in Taiwan would not be made public, the ministry said in a news release, without confirming the visit or the official’s identity. Interactions and exchanges between Taiwan and the US are common, and visits
NON-TYPICAL: Apart from Atsani, storms in autumn missed Taiwan, rainfall has been lower and average temperatures have been higher, a CWB forecaster said The current water shortage is expected to worsen in the next few months, with the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) yesterday forecasting a colder, dryer winter than normal. With winter starting next week, the bureau at a media briefing outlined the expected conditions through February and reviewed autumn’s significant weather events. Weather Forecast Center director Lu Kuo-cheng (呂國臣) said that autumn this year had three major characteristics: First, 13 tropical storms and typhoons formed from September to this month, up from 11 in the same period last year, Lu said. Apart from Atsani, for which sea and land alerts were issued in Taiwan, the tropical
‘VIRUS DIPLOMACY’: The nation’s expertise in handling COVID-19 was among the reasons that it should not be excluded from the WHO, the European Parliament said The European Parliament this week passed resolutions that support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO and its intention to negotiate a trade pact with Taiwan. During its plenary session from Monday to Thursday, the parliament approved resolutions on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and the EU’s trade policy, parts of which were viewed as friendly toward Taiwan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a statement yesterday, the ministry welcomed the passage of the resolutions and thanked the parliament for its support for Taiwan. In the first resolution, the parliament cited Beijing’s increasing threats to Taiwan, the crackdown on