TRADE PACT SIEGE: TV host’s video of police violence goes viral

By Chung Li-hua and Tseng Te-jung  /  Staff reporters

Sat, Mar 29, 2014 - Page 3

Video footage of the forced dispersal of protesters from the Executive Yuan compound by police early on Monday morning is gaining attention online.

In one video, a teacher surnamed Lin (林) is apparently bludgeoned to the ground by police after a blow to the head, while another clip released online on Thursday reportedly shows a physician surnamed Wang (王) being knocked unconsciousness, before having what is described as an epileptic seizure, despite Wang having no history of epilepsy.

Wang issued a statement on Thursday, saying that he has imprinted in his memory, with his heart and his body, how the state apparatus treated its people.

The Judicial Reform Foundation released the video clip of the physician’s beating at a press conference on Thursday which Wang did not attend.

Through a statement, he recalled the events when he went with his wife to support the protesting students.

“The riot police hit me. I was so much in pain that I backed up a few steps. I was about to say something when I was suddenly seized by dizziness and fell unconscious. I did not know until much later that I had had an epileptic seizure at the scene — eyes rolling back and shaking, with blood streaking from my mouth and all over my face.”

“I do not have any history or family history of epileptic seizures. The swelling on the back of my head was evidently caused by an external physical force. I am lucky to have Mr Chen, a Public Television Service (PTS) producer, as my witness,” he said in the statement.

The “Mr Chen” referred to by Wang is Chen Hsin-tsung (陳信聰), the producer and host of the PTS program News Talk (有話好說).

Chen uploaded the video — beginning with Wang’s encounter with officers to his being sent to hospital — on Facebook, saying he “decided to throw caution to the wind” and let the truth speak for itself.

The clip went viral.

Chen told a reporter at the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) by telephone that “government officials said that police did not go overboard while enforcing the law, but the picture of a man lying on the ground, twitching, clearly disproves their story.”

“The principle of medical neutrality” is to ensure the need for medical aid for both parties in a confrontation, general director of the volunteer medical corps Huang Chun-Hui (黃峻偉) said.

According to the principle, medical personnel should be protected from attack or other interference. However, on the day of the evacuation of Executive Yuan occupation attempt, police “threatened to handcuff members of the medical team if they didn’t leave their patients immediately, before they could finish administering medical aid,” a volunteer medical corps statement said.

After witnessing the protesters being injured physically, Huang criticized Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) for saying that police merely “patted the protesters on the shoulders to get them to leave.”

“Is there a ‘Jiang-style anatomy’ where every body part is shoulders?” Huang asked.