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Supreme Court declares Paiwan hunter innocent

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Tsai Chung Cheng (蔡忠誠), a hunter and member of the aboriginal Paiwan tribe (排灣族), was ruled not guilty by the Supreme Court yesterday over charges of violating gun control laws (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例), including the illegal manufacture of a shotgun.

After the Supreme Court had remanded Tsai's case, the Taiwan High Court handed Tsai a prison sentence of two years and eight months as well as a NT$100,000 fine for illegally manufacturing a shotgun in Pingtung County, Mudan Township (屏東縣牡丹鄉), a decision which Tsai later appealed to the Supreme Court.

According to the Supreme Court, aboriginals are allowed to undertake nonprofit hunting in certain areas due to a need to preserve their traditional cultures as well as religious beliefs in accordance with the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law (原住民族基本法). Therefore, producing a shotgun should also be the basic right of these people, according to the court's reasoning.

Although Tsai did not show up at the Supreme Court yesterday, he expressed his happiness via telephone. Tsai also said he thinks it is illegal to hold shotguns if one has an intention to harm others. However, shotguns are necessary for indigenous peoples to follow their traditional lifestyles.

After the not-guilty judgment, various aboriginal groups who showed up to support Tsai lighted smoke signals in front of the Supreme Court in order to communicate to their ancestral spirits the outcome of this case.

December 18, 2013    curtisakbar@
The ancient Aboriginal weapon, the shotgun. Ok, I don't know the details of the gun but surely if it is to keep traditions going, then it should be a weapon from the past. I know Europeans traded arms with the Aboriginals but shotguns, I'm not so sure about, muskets and rifles yes.
December 23, 2013    taipeir2001@
Yes, it depends on the type of weapon I agree. What weapons they are allowed to produce and how they are used should be defined.
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Login, from the Seediq (賽德克) tribe, who appeared at the Supreme Court to support Tsai Chung Cheng (蔡忠誠) over his construction of an unauthorized shotgun, hugs a lawyer from the ...

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