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Police arrest and interrogation of non-violent protesters but NOT their violent attackers


The KMT government is pushing for an amendment of the law which will allow Chinese students to study and seek employments after obtaining qualifications in Taiwan. Five Taiwanese students protested against this outside the temple Ma Ying-jeou was visiting in Tainan. Within seconds, they were violently attacked by several men in black t-shirts and a vest with the temple’s name printed on it. Those men looked well trained physically and there are doubts on whether they really belong to the temple. From the clip, we can hear a man shouting ‘Stop hitting him!’ and some women crying. After it was broken up, a woman shouted ‘the American sells out Taiwan (i.e. Ma. Some believe that Ma still has permanent residence of USA and some suspect that the reason why he couldn’t show any official confirmation that his permanent residence is really expired or invalid is that he actually is a US citizen).

Apparently, the police arrested those students but none of those who attacked the students. It is amazing that those attackers could escape with the level of police and national security protection around Ma Ying-jeou. Those students were taken into a precinct and interrogated. The police wouldn’t let them go and Tainan City Councillor, Chiu Li-li found out that the Head of National Security was expecting ‘information’ and Investigation Bureau also sent an officer to the precinct.

The police told Tainan City Councillor, Wang Ding-yu, that they were simply taking a record for those students in case they wanted to press charges against their attackers even though the students already said they didn’t want to press charges. The interesting thing is that the questions the police posed to the students were:

How many of you are there?
Do you belong to any organisation?
What’s the name of your organisation?
Where did you hold the meeting, preparing for this protest?
How did you organise and prepare for this protest?
Where did you meet up before setting off to the temple?
What tools or instruments did you prepare?
Was there anyone who teaches or advices on your activity?
How do you keep in contact with each other?

Seriously, do the above questions look like they were helping the students keep a record in the event of bringing charges against their attackers?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 03/05/2009 23:00

    Thanks for the post.

    The police in Taiwan is getting more and more like that in China.

  2. 04/05/2009 04:24

    Frankly there is a high level of apathy with police here in Taiwan.

    There seems to be little concern over right and wrong where there is clearly wrongdoing.

    I’ve only had to deal with the cops on two occasions personally.

    On the one occasion, a car stopped dead in the road, then reversed onto my bicycle, not on purpose probably. So I shouted at the lady and she drove off. I wrote down her plates.

    When I went to the police station, they asked, “what do you want us to do?” which I would think is blatantly obvious. So they phoned her and told me they couldn’t get hold of her, the number was out of date, then “What would you like us to do next?” In the end, nothing was done.

    My friend was hit by a car once and was extremely disappointed that despite there being a police officer at the intersection, the cop continued to direct traffic, even while my friend was in the middle of the street. He simply looked on while my friend pulled himself off the street.

    And in the video above, the cops are so quick to pull out their video cameras rather than actually help someone.


    I really feel sorry for those who really need police assistance.

  3. John permalink
    05/05/2009 04:24

    Obviously, the police are afraid of confronting the attackers, because they will go out of their way to avoid gangsters.

    And they have to do something, so arresting the students is the easiest action to take. And the protesters were the cause of the problem: If no one had been protesting, then nobody would have been attacked.

    • 06/05/2009 16:24

      Agreed, the protesters were a problem, an irritation. But doesn’t free speech include the right to express your opinions?

      Although “Protect and Serve” is an American cop thing, surely this applies to all policemen, worldwide?

      If I physically attacked you (I won’t) because I was offended by your comment on this blog (I’m not), would it be right if the cops dragged you away for that.

      I would hope they’d tackle me to the floor and take me away.

      Because it’s right.

  4. Claudia Jean permalink*
    06/05/2009 21:43

    Based on the current Parade and Assembly Act, the police was supposed to show the sign of warning for at least 3 times to those in breach of the act before making an arrest. In this case, the students were tackled by those men within seconds and taken away by the police for questioning.

    The reason why police arrested the non-violent protesters and let their violent attackers get away was that those students voiced their disagreement with Ma.


  1. Links 4 May 2009 - David on Formosa

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