FAPA Expresses Outrage Over High Court’s Decision To Extend Former President Chen’s Incarceration
The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), a Washington DC-based advocacy organization of Taiwanese Americans, today expressed outrage over the February 8 decision by Taiwan’s High Court to extend the detention of former president Chen Shui-bian by another two months from February 24.
This is the third time the High Court has extended Chen’s detention. The first was from October 24 to December 24 last year, and the second was from December 24 to February 24.
“This is continued political persecution by judicial means,” states FAPA President Prof. Bob Yang. “The reasons given by the court for Chen’s continued detention, that Chen could abscond and/or collude with witnesses, are far-fetched.”
In June 2009, international scholars already expressed concern about the legal process surrounding the detention of Chen in an open letter to President Ma Ying-jeou. They wrote: “We believe that the court decisions to repeatedly detain President Chen are unreasonable and unnecessary, and have severely damaged the credibility of our judicial system.”
Yang concludes: “Earlier, Law professor Jerome Cohen — a professor of President Ma Ying-jeou’s at Harvard University — stated that Chen faced the near-impossible task of defending himself from jail and was “fighting with one arm tied behind his back.” We wholeheartedly agree. Chen’s incarceration is making it sheer impossible for the former President to build an adequate defense, denying him a truly fair trial. FAPA therefore calls upon the KMT authorities to release former President Chen, enabling him to better prepare his defense.”
“It is another sad day for Taiwan’s young democracy.”