Political arrests and detentions in Taiwan
Present and former DPP officials arrested
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 expressions of deep concern from a group of prominent scholars and writers in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. The joint First 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.
The scholars and writers followed up with a joint Second 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 scholars and writers sent a joint Third 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"
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 joint Open letter to President Ma, which was published in the Taipei Times, 21 May 2009:
Open letter to Taiwan's President
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.