Legal reform groups and a law professor yesterday condemned Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) and the Taipei police force over abuses of power and initiating litigation against protesters and three journalists in an incident on Thursday night in which activists broke into the Ministry of Education building to protest over proposed adjustments to curriculum guidelines for high-school textbooks.
Wu said that 33 individuals, including the three journalists, were to be charged.
Human-rights lawyer Chan Shun-kuei (詹順貴) said the police had clearly overstepped their bounds and had not only infringed upon freedom of the press, but some police officers might have violated the law in confining the freedom of movement of members of the public.
“The intent of the law is to punish people who intrude into properties without good reason or cause. However, the journalists were doing their job, gathering news; they had legitimate reasons to be there,” Chan said.
“The police forcibly confiscated mobile phones, cameras and other tools used by the journalists to gather news. The journalists were then prevented from contacting anybody. These are violations of confining the movement of citizens. I strongly recommend the three journalists take up litigation against the police,” Chan added.
National Taiwan University law professor Chen Chih-lung (陳志龍) also criticized the questionable application of judicial power.
“The journalists were doing media work, for the benefit of thepublic’s right to know. That was why they entered the education ministry to take photographs and make video recordings,” he said.
Although their actions could be construed as intrusion of property, the law does grant journalists the right to gather news, and the police officers’ actions in obstructing their work could be construed as unlawful, Chen said.
The coast guard on Friday took a Chinese fishing boat and the 17 people on board into custody, after it rammed into a patrol boat while attempting to flee. A 100-tonne coast guard vessel at about 8am discovered a Chinese fishing boat illegally operating in waters about 11 nautical miles (20.4km) northwest of Hsinchu, the Hsinchu offshore flotilla of the Coast Guard Administration said. The crew refused to allow law enforcement to board the ship and attempted to flee, it added. The coast guard vessel and another ship chased the fishing boat for about a half hour, during which time the Chinese boat
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said that Beijing was trying to “annex” Taiwan, while China said its recent series of drills near Taiwan are aimed at combating the “arrogance” of separatist forces. The Ministry of National Defense earlier this month said that it had observed dozens of Chinese fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships and the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong, operating nearby. The increased frequency of China’s military activities has raised the risk of events “getting out of hand” and sparking an accidental clash, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said last week. Asked about the spurt
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Monday said he would not attend the official Double Ten National Day celebrations for the first time this year, as its English name, “Taiwan National Day,” implies “Taiwan independence.” Writing on Facebook, Ma said he has attended every National Day celebration since entering public service 40 years ago, but “with an exceedingly heavy heart,” has decided to reject this year’s invitation. For the past three years, the government under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has used “Taiwan National Day” for the event’s official English-language title, leaving the “Republic of China” nowhere to be found, he said. The move
RUNWAY UPGRADES: Airports and ports mainly scattered around southwestern Japan are being given major overhauls, primarily serving as civilian-use facilities Japan has chosen 33 airports and ports as candidates for improvement to enhance military capabilities, with a particular focus on infrastructure that could be utilized in a Taiwan emergency, according to a recent report in Japan’s Nikkei Shimbun. Citing the Japanese government’s fiscal budget proposal for next year, the newspaper said Toyko is to name some facilities as essential bases and receive funding for upgrades in line with the revamped national security strategy published last year. According to an unofficial policy document drafted last month and reviewed by the Nikkei, the Japanese government designated 14 airports and 19 ports for improvement, including