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Friday, May 15, 2009

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The injustice of Chen Shui-bian's detention

When they come for you, will there be anyone left to speak up?

Friend of Taiwan Luby Liao has a petition online demanding the immediate release of former President Chen Shui-Bian (陳水扁). The text of the petition reads as follows:
We the undersigned decry the increasing abuse of power by Taiwan's Ministry of Justice and its prosecutors as they violate the human rights of Taiwan's former president Chen Shui-bian and deny him due process of law in the current case against him. While neither making a judgment as to the guilt or innocence of Chen, we are appalled at the way that he is being unduly imprisoned (over 160 days and counting) as well as how his attorney-client privileges have been violated. In contrast to numerous past violators of money-laundering from the opposite political camp who have either never been detained or have received only a slap on the wrist by the courts when found guilty, Chen is being hounded and persecuted in what is an apparent political vendetta.

We hereby condemn the persecution and the violation of human rights conducted by the justice system and demand that Chen be released immediately.
Here's my own contribution (I'm #43) plus links that I didn't include in the original [as usual, hover your cursor on the links for more info]:
From the recording of Chen's conversations with his lawyers, to the judges' skit mocking Chen, to the one-sided leaks of information to the pro-KMT-dominated media, to the release of a wanted criminal who made statements against Chen, to the switching of the presiding judge to the same one who declared Ma Ying-jeou innocent (in a case where Ma admitted to depositing around NT$15 million of what he called "public funds" into his personal bank account) [Correction: "only" about NT$11 million went into his and his wife's accounts, but another NT$80,000/month (times eight years = NT$7,680,000) was used "to reward staff members," too], to the latest tacked-on charges, to punishing Chen for using hunger strikes to protest this kangaroo court, this has been a total travesty of justice.
On the blog with the petition, you can also sign up for the "I Love Taiwan" Google Group.

Why should I speak up?
If you have any doubts whatsoever, perhaps a reminder of the words of Martin Niemöller will help you make up your mind:
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

Then they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out for me.
Now's your chance. Say something.

John Hancocks: , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!

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