U.S. Representative Andrews Introduces Legislation Calling For Medical Parole For Former President Chen Shui-bian

For Immediate Release
Washington DC – July 31, 2013
Contact: (202) 547-3686

U.S. Representative Andrews Introduces Legislation Calling For Medical Parole For Former President Chen Shui-bian

On July 30, 2013, Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) introduced legislation concluding that “Congress urges the Government of Taiwan to grant former President Chen Shui-bian medical parole to ensure that he receives the highest level of medical attention, effective immediately.”

The bill, H.Con.Res.46, states: “Whereas since the administration of the Kuomintang Nationalists came to office in 2008, a large number of investigations and prosecutions have been brought against officials from the previous administration, led by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), including former President Chen Shui-bian;”

It continues: “Whereas most of these prosecutions were politically motivated, in an apparent pattern of political score-settling.”

The bill concludes: “Whereas former President Chen has not been able to receive adequate medical treatment in accordance with his wishes, such as selecting either doctors or hospitals, and has not been able to have complete access to his medical records.”

The bill also invokes a clause from the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which is the cornerstone of U.S.-Taiwan relations: “The preservation and enhancement of the human rights of all the people of Taiwan are hereby reaffirmed as objectives of the United States.”

FAPA President Mark Kao, Ph.D. states: “For Taiwanese Americans and for members of the U.S. Congress, Chen’s suicide attempt last month was more than a desperate act by a severely depressed victim of humanitarian injustice, it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. As the chairman of the House Asian Subcommittee Steve Chabot has said on multiple occasions: ‘Enough is Enough!'”

Dr. Kao adds: “Not only does Chen need to be allowed to immediately pick a psychiatrist or neurologist of his own choice, but the process of granting medical parole to Chen also needs to start right away as well. Taiwan’s judicial system allows for such medical parole.”

Dr. Kao concludes: “Chen’s continued physical and psychological deterioration is an ongoing human rights nightmare for Chen and for Taiwan as a country. The Taiwan authorities need to understand that Chen’s imprisonment is severely damaging the international image of Taiwan as a free and democratic nation.”

In a related development, the New York Times published a quarter page article on Monday, July 22, titled: “Taiwan Debates Medical Parole for Ex-Leader.” The article also refers to the June 2, suicide attempt when Chen attempted to hang himself with a towel in a shower in prison.


2013年7月22日,紐澤西州民主黨眾議員安德魯斯(Robert Andrews)提交決議案希望「美國眾議院呼籲台灣政府立即讓前總統陳水扁保外就醫,並確保他享有最好的醫療照護。」




此決議案同時呼應了向來被認作是台美關係基礎的《台灣關係法》,1979年所簽署的《台灣關係法》其中一項 : 「 玆此重申維護及促進所有台灣人民的人權是美國的目標。」

台灣人公共事務會會長高龍榮博士表示,「對台裔美國人以及許多美國國會議員來說,上個月陳前總統自殺未遂的事實除了是一位因司法人權不公導致嚴重憂鬱症的受害者所做出的絕望舉動,更是國會終於決定發起行動的導因。就像眾院亞太事務小組委員會主席夏波(Steve Chabot)在多次場合中所說的一樣: 『(對陳前總統的懲罰)已經夠了!』


另外,紐約時報在7月22日星期一刊登了一篇長達四分之一版面的文章,文章標題: 台灣輿論-陳水扁保外就醫。這篇文章同時也提到了在今年6月2日陳前總統在監獄浴室中試圖用毛巾上吊自殺。


Photo Credit: 王錦河 River Wang (Flickr)