The Taiwan Action Party Alliance yesterday defended former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) right to engage in political activities and give speeches while on medical parole, after Chen on Sunday attended a fundraising event for pro-independence group 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign.
During the event, Chen gave a speech criticizing the rules of Taichung Prison, from which he has been released on medical parole, and described the instiutituion as “hell.”
Chen said the prison has banned him from making public appearances at political events, and giving speeches and interviews, but he was determined to give his first public speech to the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign.
Photo: Chang Ching-ya, Taipei Times
Taichung Prison Deputy Warden Tai Ming-wei (戴明瑋) on Sunday said the prison had yet to confirm whether Chen breached medical parole rules.
The prison will ask Chen to explain his actions as part of its investigation before making a decision on the matter, Tai said.
According to Article 3, Paragraph 6 of the Enforcement Rules of the Prison Serving Act (監獄行刑法施行細則), prisoners on medical parole are banned from engaging in any activities unrelated to their medical treatments unless approved by the prison, with the exception of activities necessary to sustain their daily life and profession, the alliance said in a statement yesterday.
As every Taiwanese knows, Chen is a politician and giving speeches is part of the profession, it said.
Chen was the nation’s president from 2000 to 2008, and prior to that he had been a legislator and the mayor of Taipei, it said, adding that politics is Chen’s expertise and engaging in political activities is necessary to his profession and to sustain his daily life.
Activities related to Chen’s profession could also help him recover from his illness, for which he was granted medical parole, it added.
The Ministry of Justice had asked Chen to sign an agreement accepting the prison’s ban on making public appearances and political comments, giving speeches and interviews before releasing him on medical parole, because it could not find any legal basis to ban those activities, it said.
Prisons should not ask prisoners under their care to sign a contract with them because of the power imbalance between the two parties, it said, adding that it is impossible to prove if Chen signed the agreement of his own free will.
Chen was in 2009 sentenced to a 20-year jail term for corruption, but was granted medical parole in January 2015 after being diagnosed with illnesses including sleep apnea, suspected Parkinson’s disease and osteoporosis.
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to
The Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. It will be the first time in 60 years that the event has not be held at the mosque. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. This year Ramadan began on April 23 and is to
KAOHSIUNG VOTE: A city official allegedly wrote a message calling on supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu not to participate in the vote next month Prosecutors on Wednesday initiated an investigation of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director-General Tsao Huan-jung (曹桓榮) for allegedly telling supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to interfere with a recall vote against Han, while pan-green politicians denounced the mayor and his team for devising ways to obstruct voting. After receiving complaints from residents, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office launched its probe of Tsao for alleged breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Complainants provided evidence that Tsao on Saturday last week wrote on messaging app Line that Han supporters should not vote in the June 6 recall vote, saying:
BILINGUAL ASSISTANCE: The center launched a chat bot that features Chinese and English interfaces to provide foreigners with instant information about the pandemic The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that it would discuss with other nations the possibility of allowing businesspeople to visit on a case-by-case basis. Asked about loosening border restrictions, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said at the daily CECC news briefing that while the center is cautious about opening the nation’s borders, it would aim to diminish obstacles for important trade interactions without risking transmission of the novel coronavirus. Several foreign representatives in Taiwan have expressed an interest in the matter and the center would conduct related negotiations with the help of the