The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday announced the indictment of five anti-curriculum changes activists — Chen Po-yu (陳柏瑜), Yen Hsiao-ho (閻孝和), Peng Cheng (彭宬), Yin Juo-yu (尹若宇) and Tsai Ming-ying (蔡明穎) — on charges of obstruction of justice and coercion.
The office said that it has referred two adolescents, surnamed Chang (張) and Lin (林), to a juvenile court, and that it would not file charges against 22 remaining activists being investigated for breaking into and occupying the Ministry of Education compound, due to the ministry’s withdrawal of charges, insufficient evidence and the death of one defendant.
According to the indictment, on the night of July 23, Tsai allegedly shoved a security guard surnamed Hsieh (謝), who was attempting to close the compound’s front door on the incoming protesters, and as Hsieh turned to confront Tsai, Peng allegedly grabbed him, while Yin allegedly bear-hugged Hsieh from behind, causing contusions to the guard’s chest.
Photos: Taipei Times
Chen allegedly dragged away a security guard on the second floor of the ministry, surnamed Hsu (許), who was blocking Lin, resulting in protesters entering Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa’s (吳思華) office, the indictment said.
Prosecutors further alleged that Yen, in order to facilitate the entry of protesters into Wu’s office, held Hsu down, slightly spraining the fingers on Hsu’s left hand.
Yen, an anthropology student at the National Taiwan University, said that he fully anticipated legal action against him before participating in the occupation of the ministry, adding: “We were exercising our right to resistance and to civil disobedience.”
Anti-Curriculum Changes Alliance spokesperson Wang Pin-chen (王品蓁) said that although the alliance would respect the court’s verdict, it hopes that “the judicial system will treat all people equally, and will not apply one standard to students, and another standard to officials.”
“We maintain that we simply fought for our rights and did what was right. Our actions were within appropriate bounds,” Wang said.
“If the justice [system] wants to apply the most exacting standard on students, then the same standards must also be applied to the education establishment,” Wang said.
“The Ministry of Education was at fault from the beginning, and should not try to squeeze through legal loopholes,” he added.
CAUTION: Wearing a mask in crowded places and for people with chronic illnesses or allergies can help prevent COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, the CECC said The mask mandate for outdoor settings is to lifted on Thursday, and the weekly cap on international inbound travelers is to be removed on Dec. 10, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said at its regular news conference yesterday. The center also announced that starting from Friday, children aged five to 11 can receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster, and that rules for visiting hospital patients are to be partially eased from Dec. 10. While wearing a mask will no longer be mandatory outdoors, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝) reminded the public that it would still be required
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: China might impose a blockade, conduct limited force operations, use an air and missile campaign, or resort to an invasion, the report said The US Department of Defense has identified four possible military courses of action that China could take against Taiwan, but did not offer any guess on when Beijing might be ready to act. In an annual report to the US Congress released on Tuesday titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2022, the department gave a broad overview of China’s military capabilities, strategy, ambitions and intentions. The report devoted significant space to developments related to Taiwan, against which it said China had intensified diplomatic, economic, political and military pressure last year. For example, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
ANALYSIS: The local elections showed that the KMT is a competitive player, but needs to work at changing its image regarding China, experts said The nine-in-one local election results would bolster the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), but are unlikely to have a major effect on the 2024 presidential election, when cross-strait issues are back in focus, political commentators said. In Saturday’s elections, the KMT won 13 of the 21 cities and counties up for grabs, including four of the country’s six biggest metropolitan areas, where nearly 70 percent of the population lives. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost three of the seven cities and counties it held, although it gained Penghu County. Its poor results prompted President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to announce her resignation as party
PRESS FREEDOM: Britain called reports that a BBC journalist was beaten and detained ‘unacceptable’; China said the reporter did not present his credentials Chinese authorities yesterday eased some COVID-19 rules, but affirmed their severe “zero COVID” strategy after protesters demanded Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) resign in the biggest show of opposition to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in decades. The government made no comment on the protests or the criticism of Xi, but the decision to ease at least some of the restrictions appeared to be aimed at quelling anger. It was not clear how many people were detained since protests began on Friday and spread to cities, including Shanghai and Beijing. The city government of Beijing yesterday announced that it would no longer