Taiwanese Protest Citizen’s Arrest in China Ahead of Cross-Strait Talks
New efforts in a rescue campaign calling for the release of Taiwanese citizen detained in China were made recently, ahead of talks between Taiwanese and Chinese officials.
The campaign, made of an agglomeration of civil rights groups, student clubs, and activists, demands the immediate release of Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioner Chung Ting-pang, who was arrested by Chinese authorities in June while visiting his relatives in mainland China.
The latest target of protest are meetings between Chiang Pin-kung of Taiwan, head of the quasi-official Straits Exchange Foundation, and Chen Yunlin, chairman for the communist Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, which begin on Aug. 8.
Supporters of Chung Ting-pang say the summit should be cancelled if no progress is made on freeing the man.
On Aug. 3, in a press conference hosted by the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan’s administrative agency in charge of policies concerning cross-strait relations, an official expressed qualified and tentative support for Chung’s case.
In response to a question about whether Chung’s case will be discussed at the Chen-Chiang meeting, minister Shin-Yuan Lai said that Chinese authorities should clearly explain what laws he violated, and “if he did not [violate any laws], we should request his release as soon as possible.”
Chung was arrested at the Ganzhou airport in Jiangxi Province as he was preparing to return to Taiwan. He was charged with “undermining national and public security,” allegedly by planning to intercept television and radio broadcasts.
Teresa Chu, spokesperson for the Falun Gong attorney team in Taiwan, refuted claims made by Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua in a report published on Aug. 5. Xinhua had claimed that Chung “admitted his crime and repented in a good attitude,” and that his “legitimate rights and interests were effectively protected.”
Chu released a statement saying that Chung did not violate any laws, whether domestic or international.
She pointed out that Chung’s detention from the Ganzhou airport did not follow any legal procedures; and that Chung’s case has been taken up by Amnesty International, who noted he is at risk of “torture and other ill-treatment.”
Chu said that Chung is vulnerable to forced confessions through torture as long as he in the custody of Chinese security forces.
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