Two men were indicted on charges of violating the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法) yesterday for allegedly throwing objects at President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) late last year.
The prosecutors alleged that a 72-year-old man surnamed Wang (王) and a 58-year-old man surnamed Lai (賴) threw a shoe and other objects at Ma while he was giving a speech at the Jingmei Human Rights Memorial and Cultural Park in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店) on Dec. 10 last year.
The objects were blocked by security personnel and nobody was hurt in the incident.
According to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, Wang told prosecutors that throwing a shoe indicated that he disagreed with Ma’s speech and the action should be protected under freedom of speech.
Lai told prosecutors he did not target Ma, but the event’s organizers, when he threw paper.
Prosecutors said the two’s actions went beyond freedom of expression and indicted them.
In related developments, Taoyuan Confederation of Trade Unions chairman Mao Chen-fei (毛振飛) was on Friday sentenced to 20 days in prison by the Taipei District Court for leading protesters to throw eggs at the Presidential Office.
Mao was charged with violating the Assembly and Parade Act and his sentence could be commuted to a fine, the court added.
On Oct. 20 last year, Mao and about 2,000 workers and labor rights activists took part in a protest held at Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office, throwing eggs while tussling with police as they protested against low wages, unfair labor policies, rising prices and a growing labor insurance deficit.
Mao said the sentence was lighter than he had expected, but that he would appeal the ruling.
“If I were convicted in the final ruling, I would choose jail rather than commute the jail term to a fine,” he said.