A new bill has been introduced into the US Congress calling on the Taiwanese government to grant medical parole to former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
“Chen has not been able to receive adequate medical treatment in accordance with his wishes, such as selecting either doctors or hospitals, and has not been able to have complete access to his medical records,” the bill says.
Sponsored by US Representative Robert Andrews, the bill urges medical parole “effective immediately.”
The bill says that since the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) came to office in 2008, a large number of investigations and prosecutions have been brought against members of the Democratic Progressive Party administration.
“Most of these prosecutions were politically motivated, in an apparent pattern of political score-settling,” the bill says.
Earlier this month, the New York Times ran an article on Chen, saying that his time in power “vexed Beijing with his advocacy of Taiwanese independence and riveted Washington, which saw him both as democratic pioneer and mercurial troublemaker.”
It said if Ma showed leniency, he would anger Chen’s old KMT opponents, “but doing nothing has left him looking heartless and vulnerable to continuing criticism.”
“Taiwan authorities need to understand that Chen’s imprisonment is severely damaging the international image of Taiwan as a free and democratic nation,” Formosan Association for Public Affairs president Mark Kao (高龍榮) said.