Vigil for Chen
Shui-bian on fifth anniversary of imprisonment in Taiwan
Michael Richardson November 13, 2013
A vigil rally marked the fifth anniversary
of Chen Shui-bianˇ¦s imprisonment in Taiwan. Chen, the former president of the
Republic of China in-exile, was jailed November 11, shortly after leaving office
in 2008, following two terms as leader of the Chinese Nationalist government
Ex-President Chen went to a court proceeding on a corruption allegation and was
placed in handcuffs and has been imprisoned ever since. Chenˇ¦s no-jury trial was
marred with perjured testimony, midnight court sessions, court room harassment
by political operatives granted special seating privileges, an illegal change of
judges, and prosecutors who mocked Chen in a Law Day skit.
Senior legislator Mark Chen, of the Democratic Progressive Party, was a vigil
speaker.and lamented the non-action by the former DPP Chair Tsai Ing-wen. Mark
Chen revealed that he visited Tsai Ing-wen personally five years ago to urge her
to take real actions to defend Chen Shui-bian, but Tsai never agreed.
Mark Chen also said he visited the offices of the American Institute in Taiwan,
the defacto United States embassy, for help and was rebuffed. Chen was told how
he could expect AIT to do something while DPP was taking no action.
Legislator Chen criticized Tsai, the DPP presidential candidate in 2012, as
unfit to be the next leader because she had no wisdom to recognize the evil
nature of the Kuomintang and Ma Ying-jeou, the incumbent ROC president.
Mark Chen concluded by pointing out that President Chen had been wrongfully
imprisoned for the last five years because he did not receive a fair trial.
Recent developments in the Justice Ministry and the special prosecutorˇ¦s office
suggest that Ma Ying-jeou has been directing the entire case against his
predecessor despite his repeated denials.
Ma Ying-jeou has refused to grant Chen Shui-bian medical parole despite a severe
physical and mental collapse during his years of confinement. For nearly four
years Chen was held 23 hours per day in a tiny punishment cell with no furniture
forcing Chen to eat and sleep on the floor.
Law professor and exiled Chinese scholar Yuan Hong-bing claims secret documents
he has seen show that the prosecution of Chen Shui-bian originated in the
Peopleˇ¦s Republic of China. Yuan says Chenˇ¦s problems stem from his advocacy of
Taiwan, also known as Formosa, has been under occupation by the Republic of
China-in-exile since the end of World War II after being installed by the United
States as a caretaker government. The United States looked the other way on
human rights abuses by the ROC during four decades of martial law because of
Cold War foreign policy. Taiwanˇ¦s international status remains unsettled with
the people of the island deprived of a referendum opportunity to achieve
Chen Shui-bianˇ¦s volunteer medical team spoke at the vigil and confirmed the
poor health of the former president. Chen is seriously ill and must be sent home
for proper treatment said one of the doctors. He told the crowd that Chenˇ¦s MRI
results clearly show the front lobe of Chen's brain has decayed. Chen cannot
control his bladder anymore due to the brain injury and wets his pants multiple
times a day.
Dr. Chen Shuen-shen will be releasing a detailed medical report on President
Chen's illness in November. Chen is suffering from a variety of ailments and has
exhibited significant neurological deterioration. Chen has tremors, stutters,
memory deficits and an unsteady gait
The United States was named the principal occupying power of Taiwan in the San
Francisco Peace Treaty that ended World War II. In 2009, the District of
Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the people of Taiwan were stateless
and caught in ˇ§political purgatoryˇ¨ that infects their daily lives.