U.S. Congress Expresses Concern About Taiwan’s Deteriorating Human Rights

(Washington, DC.)  In light of the recent statements by Amnesty International, Freedom House, International Federation for Human Rights and Reporters Without Borders regarding the erosion of civil liberties and human rights in Taiwan, the U.S. House of Representatives followed suit yesterday and expressed their concern about the recent development in Taiwan.

In a letter dated December 18 to President Bush, Rep. Scott Garrett along with 13 other House members invoke Section 2 (C) of the Taiwan Relations Act stipulating that “the preservation and enhancement of the human rights of all the people on Taiwan are hereby affirmed as objectives of the United States.” Members then urge President Bush to “keep a close eye on these developments and urge the Ma Ying-jeou government to respect the basic freedoms and civil rights that Taiwan’s people have fought so diligently to achieve.”  Members that signed the letter are Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Michelle Bachman (R-MN), John Culberson (R-TX), John Duncan (R-TN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Dennis Moore (D-KS), Sue Myrick (R-NC), Peter Roskam (R-IL), John Sullivan (R-OK), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).

The letter, listing examples of Ma administration’s restricting of freedoms during the Chinese envoy’s visit to Taiwan earlier last month, also states, “… a cordial cross-strait relationship is conducive to the security and stability in the region. However, the advancement of that relationship should not come at the expense of the civil liberties and human rights of the Taiwanese people.”

The President of the Washington-based Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) Bob Yang states, “During our board members’ congressional visits to Capitol Hill on Monday, the 15th, many offices echoed our concern about the recent rapid deterioration of human rights and freedom in Taiwan. They clearly understand that any retrogression of freedom is alarming and should be closely monitored at any young democracy, such as Taiwan.”

Yang continues, “Despite the fact that Congress has adjourned for the year and Washington has been primarily focused on the presidential transition and financial bailout, sending this letter today demonstrates U.S. Congress’ serious commitment to Taiwan’s democracy and freedom.

Yang concludes, “We urge the Ma administration to heed international concern and to pledge to uphold the highest standard of universal human rights and civil liberty in Taiwan.

In addition to the letter led by Rep. Garrett, the Taiwan-born Congressman David Wu (D-OR) issued a similar letter to President Bush last Friday (19th). The letter by Wu said, “I am deeply concerned about the recent reported clampdown of human rights and civil liberties in Taiwan.  I respectfully request that you  urge the government of Taiwan to investigate the recent incidents and to uphold the fundamental freedoms and rights essential to any democratic society.”

 

美國國會憂心台灣人權倒退,FAPA呼籲馬政府謹守普世人權價值

有鑑於近日來國際特赦組織、自由之家、國際人權聯盟與無彊界記者組織紛紛發表聲明,關切台灣公民自由與人權嚴重倒退,美國國會於昨日致函,公開呼應這些主流國際人權組織的訴求,對台灣近日來發展表達關切。

蓋瑞特議員連同其他十三位眾議員同僚在這封致布希總統信函內,特地引用台灣關係法第二條(c)項目;這項條文表示「…維護及促進所有臺灣人民的人權是美國的目標。」議員們接著在信中向布希總統建言 ,希望他能「密切觀察台灣的情勢,並呼籲馬英九政府尊重台灣人民辛苦爭取得來的自由與公民權利。」聯署的十四位議員分別為Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Michelle Bachman (R-MN), John Culberson (R-TX), John Duncan (R-TN), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Dennis Moore (D-KS), Sue Myrick (R-NC), Peter Roskam (R-IL), John Sullivan (R-OK), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)。

議員們在信中並列舉陳雲林訪台時,馬政府一連串限制台灣民眾自由的舉動;議員在信裡也表示:「我們相信融洽的兩岸關係有助區域安全與穩定。但是兩岸的進展不應建構在犧牲台灣人民的公民自由與人權之上。」

FAPA會長楊英育表示:「FAPA委員們於上星期一就台灣情勢拜會了一些美國國會辦公室,許多議員辦公室相當認同台灣人權與自由嚴重受創。這些辦公室認為,在台灣等新興民主國家裡,任何自由倒退的情形不僅令人擔憂,並且必須密切觀察。」

楊英育表示:「由於美國國會已經正式休會,加上華府全心專注在新舊任行政部門交接與金融紓困案,美國國會仍選擇發表此封信函,顯示美國國會嚴肅看待對台灣民主與自由的承諾。」

楊英育最後表示:「我們再次呼籲馬政府重視國際關切,並希望馬政府謹守人權與公民自由等普世原則的最高標準。」

另外,首位台灣出生的美國國會議員吳振偉也於上週五特地致函布希總統。吳振偉議員的信函表示:「我對於近日來台灣箝制人權以及公民自由的報導,深表關切。我籲請您建議台灣政府調查日前發生的事件,並呼籲台灣政府謹守任何民主社會裡必要的基本自由與權利。」

(December 23, 2008) U.S. Congress Expresses Concern About Taiwan’s Deteriorating Human Rights / 美國國會憂心台灣人權倒退,FAPA呼籲馬政府謹守普世人權價值