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Taiwan says previous regime possibly behind unsolved murders in 1980

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an unknown assailant murdered the 60-year-old mother and 7-year-old twin daughters of an imprisoned dissident at his home in Taipei, while Lin’s 9-year-old daughter was also seriously injured.

Since then, investigators have been unable to solve the murder case.

However a report released by the Transitional Justice Commission, now shows that Lin Yi-hsiung, a prominent dissident leader of the democratisation movement in Taiwan and a non-party member of the Taiwan Provincial Assembly, was seen as an enemy of the state.

The findings, which analyse newly declassified government files, show that some key recordings from a wiretap at Lin’s residence were also mysteriously destroyed.

The report suggested that investigators endeavoured not to place the authoritarian regime under suspicion, instead targeting political dissidents and foreigners in efforts to identify the assailant.

Yu Po-hsiang, a commission member, said in Taipei that the involvement of the authoritarian regime in the case cannot be ruled out.

“We urge the government to declassify more archives in order to help find a clear answer.

“Lin and his family members have declined to respond to the new findings,’’ Yu said.

Taiwan has had its own government since 1949, when the Chinese Nationalists fled to the island after losing a civil war to the Communists.

The authoritarian regime of KMT ruled the island through the early 1990s.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim

Health

Taiwan donates 50,000 medical masks to NCDC

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Taiwanese envoy in Nigeria, Amb. Vincent Yang, on Friday donated about 50,000 medical masks to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC).

Yang, while handing over the consignment to the Head of NCDC Lagos office, Mrs Olajumoke Babatunde, said Nigeria would soon receive  another consignment of 100,000 masks from Taiwan.

”The donation of this consignment of about 50,000 medical masks is to support the Nigerian government’s efforts at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

”As we are handing this consignment to the representative of the Lagos office of NCDC, let me express Taiwan’s willingness to share her experience on the control of COVID-19 with Nigeria.

”This first phase of masks are intended to meet the urgent need of masks by frontline medical personel and other relevant groups in the spirit of ‘ Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping,” he said.

Yang said that Taiwan had so far been able to contain the transmission of the virus and minimise its effects on people and their daily activities.

The representative said that the country had through transparency and honesty, implemented preventive measures through a democratic model of excellence in fighting the virus.

”Having recorded enviable success in the containment of COVID-19, the Island nation has been reaching out to friendly countries to share her successes in the fight against the pandemic.

The Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has since April embarked on international humanitarian assistance in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

”Taiwan has been donating over 16 million medical masks and other medical supplies to the U.S., Europe and allies,” he said.

Yang expressed Taiwan’s readiness to cooperate with other countries in containing the spread of COVID-19 globally, adding that no country could fight against the pandemic alone.

Mrs Olajumoke Babatunde, Head of NCDC Lagos office, thanked the Taiwanese government for the donation, and promised to communicate the kind gesture to the Director General of NCDC in Abuja.

Babatunde also assured the envoy that with the government’s and centre’s ongoing efforts, Nigeria would soon record great success in containing the virus.

She said that it was imperative for the centre and the Taiwan envoy in Nigeria to develop a synergy for information sharing and exchanges in the near future.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Taiwan decriminalises adultery in human rights milestone

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Taiwan’s top court on Friday nullified a decade-old criminal adultery law under which having extra marital affairs could result in jail term.

The court revoked Article 239 of Taiwan’s Criminal Code, which stipulated that a“ married person who commits adultery with another shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year; the other party to the adultery shall be subject to the same punishment.”

Hsu Tzong-li, president of the Judicial Yuan, the judicial branch of Taiwan’s government, said the law had been nullified because it seriously undermined personal sexual autonomy and privacy.

“After the decriminalisation of adultery, people can rely on the Civil Code to protect family and marriage,’’ Judicial Yuan Secretary-General Lin Hui-huang told a news conference in Taipei.

The court also nullified an article in the criminal code stating that in an adultery case, the withdrawal of a complaint against a spouse shall not be considered to be a withdrawal against the other adulterer.

Friday’s ruling was handed down several weeks after oral arguments, which saw the Ministry of Justice cite a number of surveys showing that 70 per cent of the population opposes the decriminalisation of adultery.

Kuan Hsiao-wei, an associate professor of law at National Taipei University, called Friday’s ruling  a “milestone in the history of sexual rights and human rights in Taiwan.”

She said that the adultery law had been implemented in a gendered way, with women roughly 20 per cent more likely to be convicted than men, even though men commit adultery more often.

The criminal adultery law was deemed constitutional in a 2002 ruling .

The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights said Taiwan had become more inclusive during that time in respecting personal freedom and sexual autonomy.

Tseng Hsien-ying, president of the Coalition for the Happiness of Our Next Generation, said that the ruling would harm the institution of marriage, state-run Central News Agency reported.

Edited By: Halima Sheji (NAN)

 

 

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Rights groups urge Taiwan to support more Hong Kongers seeking asylum

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Taipei-based non-governmental organisations and Hong Kongers living in Taiwan on Wednesday jointly called on the Taiwan government to revise laws in a bid to support more Hong Kongers seeking asylum as Hong Kong’s national security law is to undermine freedom and rule of law.

At a news conference held in Taipei, Taiwan’s rights groups charged that Hong Kong’s national security law meant the collapse of the concept of “one country, two systems’’ imposed there.

They stressed that Taiwan should be well prepared in response to an emerging refugee crisis.

According to the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Taiwan’s existing laws fail to comprehensively assist Hong Kong pro-democracy activists seeking asylum in Taiwan.

The organisation urged the government to revise regulations about helping Hong Kong residents whose safety and liberty are immediately threatened for political reasons.

In addition, so far, Taiwan has not established a refugee act.

Taiwan Citizen Front spokesman Chiang Min-yen called on the Taiwan government to urgently grant asylum to Hong Kong protesters on humanitarian grounds.

“The impacts of Hong Kong’s national security law are devastating there.

Helping Hong Kong is actually helping Taiwan as Chinese imperialism remains expanding,’’ Wu Rwei-ren, an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, said.

Wu added that Taiwan should become a supportive base for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists, helping Hong Kong immigrants in Taiwan to form an indispensable part of Hong Kong diaspora.

Taiwan has had its own government since 1949. Beijing considers the self-governing democracy part of its territory.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

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Taiwan protests exclusion from World Health Assembly

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Taiwan is protesting its exclusion from the World Health Organisation’s annual two-day meeting which opened  on Monday.

Taiwan and dozens of friendly countries have urged the WHO to invite the island nation to the online meeting to discuss its containment of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), which is seen as a success story.

“It’s a loss for the WHO that the Taiwan model won’t be able to be shared at such an important meeting,’’ Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung told a news conference in Taipei.

Taiwan’s letter of protest will be immediately sent to the WHO, Chen said.

The WHO, under pressure from Beijing, does not recognise Taiwan.

Taiwan has had its own government since 1949.

Beijing considers the self-governing democracy part of its territory.

As the world has reported more than 4.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, Taiwan has recorded 440 cases with seven deaths.

Taiwan is ranked 156th in the list of confirmed cases per million people among 187 countries, Chen said.

A growing number of world leaders have spoken out publicly for Taiwan, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“The WHO Secretariat should listen carefully to reasonable appeals from the international community,’’ Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

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Commentary: Taiwan-related proposal to WHA a futile political show

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A handful of countries have claimed that Taiwan should be invited as an observer in the upcoming session of the World Health Assembly (WHA). Such a show of political maneuvering is nothing but a futile attempt.

The insistence by these countries on discussing the Taiwan-related proposal is not about protecting the health and welfare of the people in Taiwan, but only aimed at pursuing selfish political interests by politicizing the health issue, hijacking the WHA and undermining the joint international response to COVID-19.

Taiwan’s participation in the assembly must be dealt with in accordance with the one-China principle.

China‘s central government has made proper arrangements for Taiwan’s participation in global health affairs to ensure its prompt and effective responses to local and global public health emergencies.

In January, the Chinese central government hosted Taiwan epidemic prevention and control experts traveling to the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province to observe epidemic containment efforts. As of May 15, the Chinese central government had sent 152 notifications on COVID-19 to the Taiwan region. Since 2019, following the one-China principle, 16 groups of 24 medical and health experts from Taiwan have taken part in the World Health Organization’s technical activities.

The region is by no means a so-called “gap” in global anti-epidemic efforts, as Taiwan has unimpeded access to epidemic information.

The 73rd session of the WHA, scheduled from May 18 to 19, will only cover essential items including COVID-19 response and an executive board election. This shows that the goal of the member states is to focus on international cooperation to battle COVID-19.

The WHA has for many years rejected some countries’ Taiwan-related proposals, demonstrating the shared international commitment to the one-China principle, an overriding trend that cannot be challenged.

Since COVID-19 broke out, Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party authorities have been hyping up the so-called “Taiwan’s participation in the WHA,” exposing their intention to use the epidemic to seek “Taiwan independence.” Such an attempt will never succeed.

(XINHUA)

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China berates New Zealand over support for Taiwan at WHO

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China on Monday berated New Zealand for its support for Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Organisation (WHO).

China, however, said the country should “stop making wrong statements” on the issue to avoid damaging bilateral ties.

Taiwan, with the strong support of the U.S., has stepped up its lobbying to be allowed to take part as an observer at coming week’s World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO’s decision-making body, to China’s anger.

Taiwan is excluded from the WHO due to the objections of China, which views the island as one of its provinces.

Taiwan noted that this has created a dangerous gap in the coronavirus fight, and has accused the WHO of bending to Chinese pressure.

New Zealand’s finance and foreign ministers recently backed a role for the Taiwan at the WHO.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, speaking at a daily news conference in Beijing, said New Zealand’s comments were a severe violation of the “one China” principle, which states that Taiwan is part of China.

“We express our strong dissatisfaction with the statements and resolutely oppose it, and we have already made stern representations with New Zealand.

“The one China principle is the political foundation of China and New Zealand’s relationship.

China urges New Zealand to strictly abide by the ‘one China principle’ and immediately stop making wrong statements on Taiwan, to avoid damaging our bilateral relationship,” Zhao said.

China has denounced Taiwan’s WHO attempts as a political stunt aimed at promoting the island’s formal independence, and said it would fail in its efforts.

In Taipei, Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told parliament that in order to be able to break through China’s influence on the body there needed to be “even stronger international lung power”.

“This year’s international atmosphere is relatively beneficial for Taiwan’s participation, and so the pressure on the WHO secretariat and China is greater and greater,” Wu said.

Taiwan attended the WHA as an observer from 2009 to 2016 when Taipei-Beijing relations were warmer.

China blocked further participation after the election of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, whom China views as a separatist, an accusation she rejects.

China said it has the right to represent Taiwan on the international stage, adding that Taipei has been provided with all the help and information it needs during the pandemic, something Taiwan disputes.

Taiwan has reported only 440 coronavirus cases and seven deaths, thanks to early and effective disease prevention and control work.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Taiwan extends hotel quarantine orders for new arrivals

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Taiwan on Saturday tightened its anti-coronavirus measures, extending the list of international arrivals ordered to undergo hotel quarantine in a bid to prevent imported infections.
All individuals arriving on the island will be ordered to quarantine in special hotels for 14 days if they share a home with vulnerable people, under new rules announced by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The vulnerable people include: those aged over 65, children under 6, and people with diabetes, cardiovascular or lung disease.
Since mid-April, the measure has applied to international arrivals who have visited Europe, the U.S., and South/South-East Asian countries in the last 14 days.
Just like in other countries, hotels in Taiwan had been hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic, which had forced sweeping travel restrictions worldwide.
Several Local Governments have been helping Taiwanese hotels to adjust to hosting people in quarantine.
According to the CECC, there are 6,933 hotel beds reserved for such purposes. As of April 30, 1,860 of those beds were occupied.
Saturday’s announcement came after three new imported cases were revealed by the CECC.
The Minister of Health and Welfare, Chen Shih-chung, who is also the CECC commander, said that the new Covid-19 patients were Taiwanese nationals who had returned from Japan and Senegal.
Shih-chung said Taiwan had not registered any locally transmitted infections for 20 consecutive days.
So far, Taiwan has confirmed 432 coronavirus cases in the nation. With Six death and 324 recovered.

Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Taiwan rejects Manila push for deportation of Filipina caregiver

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Taiwan’s foreign ministry has rejected reported attempts by the Philippines to secure the deportation of a Filipina worker accused of “cyber-libel” against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Spokeswoman, Joanne Ou, stated this at a news conference on Tuesday in Taipei.

Ou said that Taiwan is a democratic country and all foreign workers have the same treatment as Taiwan citizens and that “their rights are protected, including freedom of speech.”

Ou made the remarks in response to questions about reports that Manila’s Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) had pushed Taipei to deport a Filipina caregiver for alleged libel against Duterte on her Facebook page under a Philippine law criminalizing dissemination of “fake news” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Philippine media also reported that DOLE agents had met the worker, her employer and broker to “enlighten” her that her actions “amounted to a crime.”

Ou added that Manila should follow “legal procedures” through bilateral judicial assistance channels if it believed the worker in question had violated Philippine law.

The MOFA spokeswoman added that “other countries should respect our system” and said “no agency has the right to exert pressure on this worker or her employer or labour broker.”

Although Ou said the DOLE had denied the media reports, Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, said on Tuesday that Manila was “looking into this.”

“We approve of MOFA’s affirmation that foreign workers have the same rights as citizens, including freedom of speech,” Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Shih Yi-hsiang said.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Mainland says Taiwan remarks on census “distorting facts”

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A mainland spokesperson Monday refuted remarks from Taiwan on an upcoming population census on the mainland as an act of “fact-distorting” born from a desire to undermine cross-Strait ties.

The statement by Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, came in response to Taiwan media reports that mainlanders with Taiwan spouses are required to provide data on their Taiwan-based family for the census, and ensuing comments by Taiwan’s mainland affairs authority that called it an infringement on personal privacy.

In accordance with relevant laws and regulations, Zhu said, the State Council has decided to carry out the seventh population census in 2020, which is scheduled to take place at 12 a.m. on Nov. 1.

Taiwan people residing on the mainland fall within the scope of the census, while Taiwan people living outside of the mainland do not, she said.

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