Global body calls for A-bian parole

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Oct 21, 2012 - Page 3

The 58th Congress of Liberal International (LI) on Friday called on the Taiwanese government to grant medical parole to former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said.

The DPP said in a press statement yesterday that because LI had expressed its concern over Chen’s deteriorating health, DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) asked the party’s director of International Affairs Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠) and Taiwan Foundation for Democracy deputy head Yang Huang Maysing (楊黃美幸) to attend the LI congress and present a presentation on Chen’s updated circumstances to the congress which has been running since Wednesday and is set to conclude today in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

The DPP said that in a resolution passed by the congress on Friday, “it expresses its concern over the treatment of former president Chen which is gravely impacting his medical welfare and calls on the authorities to grant him medical parole to ensure that he receives the highest level of medical attention.”

The DPP is a member of the London-based Liberal International, a coalition of political parties from more than 60 countries.

Chen, serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption, was admitted to the Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Sept. 21 for a detailed examination in light of his declining health.

Hospital officials said recently that Chen is suffering from severe depression, adding that Chen has also developed a speech impediment, which might be linked to mental illness or cerebral degeneration, as well as problems with his prostate and sleep apnea — a sleeping disorder characterized by abnormal breathing.

Chen sought medical parole earlier this year when he was diagnosed with a narrowing of his coronary arteries, but the Ministry of Justice denied it on the grounds that he could access proper treatment in prison.