Police should look into MOI official's splashing
By Lauly Li, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Since four households in Dapu Village were razed by the Miaoli County Government against the owners' wishes in July, a string of demonstrations has been held by social activists from various fields in society. Several protesters and a police officer were injured in them.
August 21, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Deputy Interior Minister Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇) was splashed with water by protesters while he was speaking at the demonstrators on behalf of Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) on Monday.
Protesters demanded Lee to come out of the Ministry of the Interior building to talk to them, and forced Hsiao to leave.
Hsiao yesterday responded the incident on Monday saying that he “doesn't mind” the actions, and will not press charges against the demonstrators. He however urged activists to demonstrate in a rational manner.
A few days ago, a similar incident occurred in Miaoli County. A police officer's right eye was injured by an egg tossed by a protester. The officer, surnamed Chang, was sent to a hospital for treatment.
In sharp contrast to Hsiao's reaction, the Miaoli County Government on Monday held a press conference and condemned the protesters for their “violent behavior.” The Miaoli Police Department said it will investigate the incident under the offenses of insulting an official, obstructing officials' duties and causing bodily injury. Obstructing an official's duties may lead can be punished with a maximum of three years' imprisonment at most, according to the Criminal Code.
Prosecution for the offense of insulting an official may be issued only upon the official's complaint. As for the offense of obstruction of duty, police must investigate no matter whether or not the person involved in the incident would like to press charges.
In Hsiao's case, we may say it is his personal choice to not press charges against protesters regarding the water-splashing insult. However, regarding the degree of obstruction of his duties, police should investigate and make their own determination.