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May 27, 2017

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Hualien policemen accused of abuse of power

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Police in Hualien were accused of abuse of power after detaining a 73-year-old woman for more than eight hours.

The 73-year-old, surnamed Chen, was detained over intimidation allegations. The woman's neighbor, surnamed Fu, accused her of making threats as a result of a parking space-related dispute. After the case was reported to the police, she along with three others were brought to the police station for questioning. The woman was held for more than eight hours, after which her son, surnamed Wang, accused the police of abusing their power.

Wang said that after the police arrived, Fu — who held a camera in his hand — requested that the police arrest his mother, adding that Fu also threatened that he would file a complaint to the local precinct if the police fail to do so. Wang added that the police then abided by Fu's request.

According to Apple Daily, a media reporter— who came to the scene for an interview and listened to the entire conversation between Fu, the woman and the police — reportedly said that the incident was ridiculous. However, because of the reporter's comment, he was also taken back to the police station, according reports.

Wang claimed his mother simply told Fu that if he wants to argue with her, she will be waiting at her house, stressing that such a remark does not sound intimidating at all.

Wang said the police held his mother from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., noting that the police did not even allow his mother to come back for dinner. Wang claimed that the police said they would only release his mother when they receive approval from prosecutors.

In response, Hualien Police Bureau official Chiang Tung-chen (江東成) said "there are indeed some flaws in the case. We are willing to apologize to Chen and her family over the incident. " Chiang said, however, that the police officer did not handcuff Chen, therefore, it was not an arrest.

A press association in Hualien released a press statement via a lawyer, saying that the four people that were taken back to the police station did not possess weapons nor did they pose any threat to others. The lawyer said the police's way of handling the incident was inappropriate.

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