Activists call on Ma to speak on China repression

Staff writer, with CNA


Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Paul Lin, president of the Taiwan Youth Anti-Communist Corps, center, is joined by director Yang Yue-ching, right, and Taiwan Friends of Tibet chairwoman Chou Mei-li as he talks at a press conference yesterday.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Human rights activists urged President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday to press China on political reforms in the speech he gives on his inaugural for a second term on May 20.

Two recent events in China — the dramatic escape of blind human rights activist Chen Guangchen (陳光誠) from illegal house arrest and a deadly clash between Chinese and ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang Province — revealed worsening human rights conditions in the country, the activists said.

“As the beacon of democracy in the Chinese-speaking world, Taiwan needs to weigh in on rights issues to show our commitment to democracy,” said Paul Lin (林保華), president of the Taiwan Youth Anti-Communist Corps.

Ma should press Beijing on the issue of political reforms, and the ideal platform would be Ma’s inauguration speech on May 20, Lin said at a press conference prior to his departure for Tokyo to attend the general assembly of the World Uighur Congress from Monday to Thursday.

Speaking at the same press conference, Taiwan Friends of Tibet chairwoman Chou Mei-li (周美里) said the human rights situation in China demands immediate attention.

The self-immolation of Tibetan monks in protest against Beijing’s rule is an example of the problem there, she said.

“There is so much suppression in China that is not being noticed,” Chou said.

“It’s an important issue to the global community and we should take part in changing that situation,” she added.


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