For Immediate Release
Washington DC – December 23, 2008
Contact: (202) 547-3686
U.S. Congress Expresses Concern About Taiwan’s Deteriorating Human Rights
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.”
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)。