Activists press DPP on Chen’s health, rights

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 - Page 3

Supporters of imprisoned former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday called for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to be more active in fighting for medical parole or a presidential pardon for Chen.

Led by Taiwan Referendum Alliance convener Tsay Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴), dozens of Chen’s supporters visited the DPP headquarters and the office of former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in Taipei yesterday and demanded to meet with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Tsai.

The supporters ended up meeting with neither, although both offices sent representatives, including DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅), to receive them.

Tsay expressed disappointment that Su and Tsai had not been available, saying that the DPP heavyweights were among the most influential politicians in Taiwan and should not evade the issue.

Tsay reiterated that Chen’s imprisonment was “political oppression” and lamented the DPP’s refusal to “recognize the fact” and its abandonment of Chen.

“Everyone talks about rescuing Chen, but from what I’ve seen, Chen is still in prison. He cannot be saved until he is free,” Tsay said in front of the DPP headquarters building.

“If the DPP fails to actively intensify its rescue effort, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will not be the only politician to embrace a flying shoe. We would throw shoes at Chairman Su as well,” Tsay said.

Tsay was referring to a shoe-throwing incident on Dec. 10 last year, when protesters — including Tsay — threw shoes at Ma to protest the president’s treatment of Chen.

While the DPP has supported Chen’s medical parole due to his deteriorating health, Tsay said the former president should be granted a presidential pardon regardless of the final verdict of his legal cases.

Su and Tsai had previously called for Ma to respect Chen’s right to fair trials and medical treatment, with the DPP launching a campaign across the country which saw more than a dozen local councils reaching resolutions demanding medical parole for the former president.