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June 27, 2017

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Prosecutors & media giants biggest threats for human rights: Su

By Enru Lin--The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman yesterday named prosecutorial abuse of power and media monopolization as the two greatest threats to human rights in Taiwan.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) held the party's first International Human Rights Day Press Conference at the party's Taipei headquarters.

Taiwan currently faces two major human rights crises: prosecutors that abuse their powers to persecute the people, and private interests that wield dangerous power over the media, Su said, pointing to China as one of the big players in the monopolization of Taiwan's media.

The China factor seriously threatens Taiwan's democracy, Su said. He requested that the world stand with the DPP so that the country's democracy does not disappear.

Monday was International Human Rights Day, marking 64 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

DPP on Tibet

Earlier on Monday, Su paid a courtesy call to nine Tibetan students, who were on their third and final day of a hunger strike in Taipei's Liberty Square. The strike was to commemorate the 94 Tibetans who have self-immolated since last March in calls for freedom and human rights.

At Liberty Square, Su called on President Ma Ying-jeou to open his eyes to China's human rights violations in Tibet.

Ma's standards on human rights have plummeted since his campaign for re-election and he has been all talk and no action since winning a second term in January, said Su, citing the president's "rebuff of the Dalai Lama."

Late last month the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, 外交部) said it had rejected a proposal to invite the Dalai Lama to Taiwan, saying that the timing was inappropriate. The DPP considers the decision kowtowing to Beijing, which views the Dalai Lama as a "splittist."

"There's no waiting for the right time when it comes to human rights and democracy. Rebuffing the Dalai Lama's visit to Taiwan displays a lack of wisdom and basic manners," said Su yesterday.

Ma's Kuomintang equates China with the "old Communist Party," he said. "But the DPP sees a changing China, as well as the China beyond the Communist Party."

China has changed tremendously over the years, yet continues to hijack Taiwan's space for growth on the international stage. Taiwan cannot change the game in China, except by serving as a model of human rights, freedom and the democratic system, he said.

Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), executive director of the DPP's Policy Research Committee, said a recent poll indicates that 62.3 percent of Taiwanese are dissatisfied with the government's protection of human rights. Just 31.1 percent are satisfied with current conditions, said Wu at the press event yesterday.

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