vendredi 28 novembre 2008

[FIDH]Deep concern regarding the detention and attacks against citizens protesting peacefully during the visit of Chinese envoy Mr. CHEN Yunlin
Open letter to
* President Ma Ying-jeou
* Premier Liu Chao-hsuan
* Republic of China – Taiwan
Your Excellencies,
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
is writing to you to express its deep concern regarding
the detention and attacks against citizens protesting peacefully
during the visit of Chinese envoy Mr. CHEN Yunlin.
FIDH believes that such arrests and violence are grave violations
of human rights, under the pretext of national security.
According to the information received, since November 3rd, 2008,
the city of Taipei has been heavily occupied by more than 7,000 police
officers. The authorities have taken many drastic measures,
including: confiscating and damaging private property,
harassing and assaulting people who came too close to undefined
or vaguely defined areas, clearing communal highway lanes with
force, conducting random searches and arrests, and restricting
the freedom of movement of citizens. These actions have been taken
during Mr. CHEN’s visit, in the name of protecting security.
However, we fear these aggressions in fact aim at suppressing
the right to freedom of expression of citizens. To supplement
this violence, there are also unprecedented restrictions which
clearly overpass the limits of ensuring security. For example,
citizens have been restricted from displaying or carrying the
national flag of Taiwan, forbidden to declare that
“Taiwan is not part of China”, forbidden from carrying filming
devices, and restricted from playing any music the authorities
consider inappropriate.
These measures seem to be aimed at silencing political opinions
rather than protecting security, and thus they blatantly violate
the Constitution of Taiwan, notably Articles 11 and 14 which protect
freedom of expression and international human rights standards.
Consequently, FIDH requests that the National Police Agency and
National Security Bureau, bound by the Constitution and the national
legislation, should be held responsible for violating their legal obligations.
The Judicial Yuan and Control Yuan should immediately conduct
independent and impartial investigations into all allegations of human
rights violations and hold all personnel in office accountable for
neglecting their civil and legal obligations, in line with the Judicial
Yuan’s recent statement that “it is very important to form an objective
and solid review standard, and make the constitutional reviews more
predictable and trust-worthy to people”. Those who perpetrated these
violations, particularly in the National Police Agency and National
Security Bureau, must be held accountable, in accordance with
Article 24 of the Constitution of Taiwan, which stipulates that
“Any public employee who, in violation of law, infringes upon the
freedom or right of any person shall, in addition to being subject to
disciplinary punishment in accordance with law, be liable to criminal
and civil action. The victim may, in accordance with law, claim damages
from the State for any injury sustained therefrom.”
More generally, FIDH calls upon the government to amend the Parade
and Assembly Law, in particular : to abolish the requirement for
mandatory permits and adopt the system of voluntary basis and the
clause on special area of restriction, which gives too much discretion
to the authority to restrict people’s freedom of association and freedom
of expression. In addition the authorities should abolish the order to
dismiss as well as the provisions on special criminal punishment,
which is a legacy of the martial law era. Finally, Taiwan should establish
the protocol for law enforcement personnel who should have the
obligation to clearly announce his or her identity when on duty, to ensure
legitimacy and accountability.
Your Excellencies,
Our Organization firmly believes that the fruit of Taiwan’s remarkable
democratization has landmark significance to the Asian continent as a
whole. We therefore express our serious concern over the alarming
human rights degradation in Taiwan, and we do take it as a signal of
a negative trend undermining the values of democracy and human
rights on which Taiwan should be based. Hoping that you will take
into consideration the above mentioned concerns, I remain,
Yours sincerely,
Souhayr Belhassen

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