Supreme Court declares Paiwan hunter innocent
By Queena Yen, The China Post
December 18, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
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.
Various aboriginal groups make smoke signals in front of the Supreme Court yesterday to inform their ancestral spirits about the outcome of the case related to a Paiwan hunter, ...
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