Fri, Jan 03, 2020 - Page 3 News List

Han campaign offers legal aid to protect free speech

NEW LAW SLAMMED:Separately, the KMT said that the Anti-infiltration Act could affect the rights of Chinese spouses and prevent them from returning to China

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Anne Wang, left, the spokeswoman for Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s presidential campaign office, speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

The campaign office of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, yesterday announced that it would offer legal assistance and consulting services to people who have been summoned for questioning by police over possible breaches of the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法).

The service, offered by a team that includes lawyers Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元), Lin Rih-chun (林日春), Wu Po-hung (吳柏宏) and Hsiao Chih-yun (蕭棋云), would help protect people’s freedom of speech, the office told a news conference at the KMT’s headquarters in Taipei.

The office has noticed many people expressing concern that they could be indicted for breaching the act by sharing posts or their thoughts on Facebook, campaign spokesman Anne Wang (王淺秋) said.

People who have been targeted by the government for making political comments are welcome to contact the team at kmtgb2020@gmail.com, Wang said.

In other developments, the KMT criticized the Anti-infiltration Act (反滲透法), which was passed by the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday, saying it could affect the rights of Chinese spouses returning to China.

Fearing that they might breach the Anti-infiltration Act, Chinese spouses no longer dare return to China, KMT legislator-at-large candidate Niu Chun-ju (牛春茹) told a news conference.

“The government has control over how the Anti-infiltration Act will be enforced. Us Chinese spouses are just lambs at its mercy,” Niu said. “We have no idea when the knife will come down.”

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) accused the KMT of spreading false rumors.

DPP Department of China Affairs Director Johnny Lin (林琮盛) said that the Anti-infiltration Act only punishes people who make political donations, campaign for a political candidate or breach election or and other regulations at the instruction of Beijing or with it as a sponsor.

It does not apply to those who do not commit such offenses and have no intention of assisting China’s infiltration of Taiwan, Johnny Lin said.

The KMT’s misinformation makes it confusing whether it is trying to please China or is simply afraid, he said.

Additional reporting by Yang Chun-hui

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