Taiwanese Students Protest ‘Parade and Assembly Law’
Around 500 Taiwanese students gathered on Nov. 6 to protest police action taken against pro-Taiwan independence activists during the recent visit of Chinese envoy Chun Yunlin. They condemned the government for acting like a police state and demanded that it apologize and amend the Parade and Assembly Law. I-fan Lin has translated some relevant blog posts at Global Voices Online:
The current law restricts the right of citizens to peaceably assemble, by forcing them to apply for permits which the government may deny at will after reviewing the protest topic, allows the government unrestricted rights to close off large areas from protesters, and allows police to forcibly disperse protesters even if they are not violent. The students are demanding the law be revised to require the government to grant permits upon receiving an application without the current content review (“government shall grant a permit” vs. the current “government may grant a permit”), while requiring police to follow the rule of law and due process in all arrests and detentions. In other words, the law should protect the rights of protesters – not restrict them.
I-fan Lin writes that similar student protests are being organized elsewhere in Taiwan:
In front of National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, some students started a sit-in to support the student protest in Taipei. They will carry on the sit-in until the government responds. Students in Hsin-Chu and Tai-Chung also started to gather together.