20131117 Vigil for Chen Shui-bian on fifth anniversary of imprisonment in Taiwan
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Vigil for Chen Shui-bian on fifth anniversary of imprisonment in Taiwan

Michael Richardson November 13, 2013


Mary Loan

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 independence.

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 independence.

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.

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