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June 23, 2017

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Doubts surface on DPP legislator's claim that she was assaulted by police

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺) yesterday may have falsely accused the police guarding the entrance of the Legislative Yuan of attacking her when she was trying to bring Japanese media into the building.

According to local media outlets, reporters belonging to the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun (讀賣新聞) tried to enter the Legislative Yuan's Assembly Hall but were blocked by police officers. Lin confronted the police after the reporters were denied entrance, but allegedly lost her temper and struck a police officer in the chest.

After a short pause, the officer called out that the lawmaker had hit him. Lin responded with shouts of "the police hit me!"

DPP Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) also approached the police in an attempt to negotiate. After the incident, both lawmakers criticized the police for denying entrance to foreign media and suppressing press freedom.

Allowing riot police into the Legislature and preventing foreign media from entering is similar to what occurred during the martial-law period, Lin said in an interview after the incident. "Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) should be dealing with this. It is an insult to Taiwan if lawmakers cannot bring foreign media into the Assembly Hall," said Lin.

In answer to the media's inquiries about the incident with the police officer, Lin said that there was only some yanking and pulling, a claim she continued to make even after a TV reporter claimed she had seen Lin hit the police officer twice. "I am pushing for the people's rights to know (about the protests) and the rights to speak in the legislature. Can't I fight back? Or I should wait until he hits me with his shield and gun?" Lin demanded.

A reporter from the Japanese news crew said that one of her colleagues did not have a reporter's pass for the Legislature, so the police had instructed them to apply for a temporary pass, but they were blocked once more after the pass was issued, which was when Lin came to their aid.

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