TAIPEI, Taiwan–An executive order passed by Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice on May 3 allows members of the Chinese Communist Party’s Political and Legislative Affairs Committee to participate in Taiwan’s legal exchange programs as “legal professionals.”
Taiwan legislator Wong Chin-chu held a press conference on May 7 in which human rights lawyers and activists expressed strong opposition to the executive order.
The incumbent members of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee of the Communist Party are associated with a range of human rights abuses, he said, including the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and the operation of extralegal detention facilities and forced labor camps.
Wong called the order tantamount to labeling the Chinese Gestapo as “legal professionals,” and asserted that doing so tarnishes Taiwan’s international image.
The Chairman of Taiwan’s Falun Dafa Association, Chang Ching, said politics should not side-step human rights, and that “a single concession could lead to an abyss.” If Taiwan recognizes members of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee as legal professionals, it will end up as the laughing stock of the international human rights community,” Chang added.
Human rights lawyers presented organizational charts showing offices that persecute Falun Gong practitioners. They said that the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee functions in the absence of the rule of law and exercises extralegal control over “the office of the public prosecutor, public security, intelligence, administration of justice, and labor camps” and plays a direct role in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners.
Luo Gan, the former secretary of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee, played a central role in establishing the “6-10 Office,” and Zhou Yongkang, the incumbent secretary of the Committee, is among its leaders. Reports from the United Nations Human Rights Council, Amnesty International, and the United States Congress describe the 6-10 Office as an extrajudicial apparatus charged with overseeing the persecutory campaign against Falun Gong practitioners.
Attorney Theresa Chu, representing the Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group, said the executive order is “a breach of two international human rights covenants,” the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Lee Yueh-lin, Secretary-General of the National Federation of the Republic of China Bar Association, questioned the intention of the Ministry of Justice in issuing the executive order. He told The Epoch Times that the federation is raising the issue with the Ministry of Justice.
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