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May 26, 2017

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Activist arrested, released after questioning

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Student activist Hung Chung-yen (洪崇晏), who was allegedly involved in the April 11 demonstration outside the Taipei Zhongzheng First Precinct, was arrested yesterday by police for not attending questioning. Hung was later released without bail.

Taipei City Police Department held a press conference where they said that Hung, a student at National Taiwan University, allegedly led crowds in besieging Zhongzheng First Precinct on April 11 and also allegedly led protesters to occupy Zhongxiao East Rd. on April 29.

Police went on to say that they had previously sent two notices to Hung requesting that he attend questioning, however, he failed to attend either appointment.

Taipei police said that in light of this they handcuffed and arrested Hung for a questioning session yesterday in accordance with an arrest warrant issued by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) on May 2.

Taipei police further said that police officers spotted Hung yesterday around noon on Hankuo Street. Plainclothes police approached him, identified themselves to him, showed him the arrest warrant and read Hung his rights before arresting him, Taipei Police said.

Hung's family and attorney were also informed, police said, stressing that the arrest was carried out in accordance with proper procedures and regulations.

Hung was later transferred to the TDPO for further investigation, police said.

The student activist attended a press conference yesterday morning outside Zhongzheng First Precinct, demanding that the precinct return two loudspeakers that were confiscated during the anti-nuclear energy protest on April 28.

On April 11, following the dispersal of a group of activists outside the Legislature in the morning, nearly 1,000 protesters besieged the precinct office in the evening. The protesters demanded the apology and resignation of Zhongzheng First Precinct Chief Fang Yang-ning (方仰寧), who had been in charge of the dispersal.

Hung allegedly threatened Fang during the April 11 demonstration, saying that Fang might be assassinated for evicting protesters at the Legislative Yuan. A few days later, Hung apologized to Fang in public and stressed that he was not the initiator of the demonstration.

Activists Cast Doubt on Police

Lawyer Thomas Chan (詹順貴) said that Taipei police had previously told him they would directly transfer Hung's case to the TDPO, however, to his surprise the police arrested Hung. Chan further noted that when police arrested Hung they took away his phone to prevent him from making contact with other people.

Student activist Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), in a post on his Facebook page, said four plainclothes police officers handcuffed Hung in public without identifying themselves, adding that instead of a police car, Hung was taken back to a police station in a taxi.

"If this is called rule of law, then this country has already been destroyed," Lin said.

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