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September 26, 2017

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Ex-President Chen did not attempt suicide at detention center: official

TAIPEI--Jailed former President Chen Shui-bian has only gone on hunger strikes and did not attempt to commit suicide by banging his head against a wall at Taipei Detention Center, said the center's deputy head Yeh Pi-jen Wednesday, citing the center's records.

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair on Tuesday quoted doctors as saying the former president has tried to commit suicide three times since being incarcerated, once by banging his head against a wall and twice by refusing to eat.

Former Vice President Annette Lu, however, after a visit to Chen Wednesday at the Taipei Prison where the former president is serving a 17.5-year jail term for corruption, quoted Chen as saying that the three suicide attempts did not occur at the prison but at the detention center before he formally served his jail time at the prison.

Also Wednesday, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said he would find an appropriate time and occasion to help reflect a request made Tuesday by the former president's son Chen Chih-chung that his father be released on medical parole.

According to DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien, Chen's health condition is becoming worse.

The party will step up efforts in calling for medical parole for the former head of state and urge President Ma-Ying-jeou to allow Chen to seek medical help outside the prison, Lin said.

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