Open Letters by International Scholars and Writers
Erosion of Justice, Democracy and Human Rights
Since mid-October 2008, the Kuomintang authorities in Taiwan have arrested and detained a number of present and former DPP officials (see list below). The one-sidedness of the arrests -- only DPP members were detained -- and the incommunicado incarceration have led many observers to fear an erosion of justice and a return to the dark days of the KMT's martial law (1947-1987).
The arrests prompted a series of five open letters from a group of prominent scholars and writers in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. The letters are linked to below (most recent one first):
The international scholars and writers sent a fifth Joint Open letter to President Ma, which was published in the Taipei Times, on November 16th 2009:
An Open letter to Taiwan's President . The letter was also published in Hanji in
The Liberty Times. A
response by GIO minister Su Jun-pin was published in the Taipei Times on December 18th 2009. This evoked
a response by Celia Llopis-Jepsen , published on December 23rd 2009. A second
rebuttal by Prof. Richard Kagan was published on December 25th 2009. A third
rebuttal by Gerrit van der Wees appeared on 12 January 2010. This was followed by a
response from GIO minister Su Jun-pin on 26 January 2010.
On May 20th 2009, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the inauguration of President Ma Ying-jeou, th international scholars and writers sent a fourth Joint Open letter to President Ma, which was published in the Taipei Times, 21 May 2009:
Open letter to Taiwan's President
The scholars and writers sent a Third Joint Statement in the form of an Open Letter to President Ma Ying-jeou, which was published in the Taipei Times, 21 January 2009:
Eroding justice: Open letter No. 3 The full text of the letter and updated list of signatories is also given at Open Letter to President Ma. Government information minister Su Jun-pin responded with a letter published in the Taiwan News on 24 January 2009 :
Response to "Open Letter to President Ma Ying-jeou"
The scholars and writers followed up with a Second Joint Statement, in which they detailed the flaws in Taiwan's legal process, and stated that "under the present circumstances it is hard to see how the persons involved ... can have a fair trial in Taiwan": Taipei Times, December 2nd 2008:
Eroding justice: Open letter No. 2 The text of the letter is also given at Open letter to Justice Minister Wang. The Minister responded in a letter published in the Taipei Times, January 8th 2009:
Response no. 2 on Eroding justice
The First Joint Statement was published on November 6th 2008 in the Taipei Times:
Open letter on erosion of justice in Taiwan The text of the letter is also given at Scholars and writers express concern. Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng responded with an Open Letter published in the Taipei Times on 25 November 2008 :
Open Letter inaccurate.
Specific cases of concern
- The arrest and detention on October 15th of former Interior minister Yu Cheng-hsien;
- The arrest and detention on October 27th of former Hsinchu Science Park Director and Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection Dr. James Lee;
- The arrest and detention on October 29th of DPP Chiayi County Commissioner Chen Ming-wen;
- The indictment on October 30th of DPP Tainan City Councilor Wang Ting-yu;
- The arrest and detention on October 31st of former National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general and Deputy Prime Minister Chiou I-jen;
- The questioning of former Foreign Minister Dr. Mark Chen on November 3rd and insinuations in the press that he might be charged and arrested;
- The arrest and detention on November 4th of DPP Yunlin County Magistrate Ms. Su Chih-fen.