Novotel called police claiming activists broke hotel rules: APB
By Katherine Wei ,The China Post
June 27, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
The Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Novotel branch called the police claiming that its guests violated hotel regulations before breaking through a door, said the Aviation Police Bureau (APB) yesterday.
The incident occurred on Wednesday, when Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) arrived in Taiwan for his historic four-day trip. Members of activist groups, including the Taiwan Tautin (台灣鬥陣) and Democratic Front Against the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, had checked into the same Novotel branch where Zhang would be staying on Tuesday night, allegedly prepared to launch protests against the Chinese official's official visit.
According to the video footage activists provided, several men dressed in black — supposedly including the management of the hotel — demanded that activists open their doors and later barged into one of the rooms by force after lawyer Lai Chung-chiang refused to comply.
The hotel management was also accused of shutting down the Wi-Fi service in the rooms occupied by the activists, a claim denied by APB Chief Wang Lung (王隆).
The hotel stated that after Lai and two other activists checked into Novotel rooms 647 and 649 early June 25 morning, hotel staff discovered via surveillance cameras that another seven or eight people entered the two rooms without registering their identities.
Suspicious Behavior and False Accusations
Novotel expressed security worries as the people were seen walking around the floor and opening the emergency exits. After the hotel's manager and security staff headed to the rooms for a clearer understanding of the guests' motives, they only attempted to force open the doors because the guests refused to talk to them, said Wang.
The hotel sought help from the APB around 10 a.m., saying that the guests had violated hotel rules and also refused to show their IDs, said Wang.
Hotel management also claimed that it ended the booking contract with the guests of rooms 647 and 649 by 11 a.m. on Wednesday and demanded that the guests check out, requests which were ignored.
Along with the hotel staff, APB officers then headed to the rooms to explain to Lai that the hotel called the police because of rule violations at roughly 11:40 a.m., asking when Lai would be checking out. Lai replied that the group needed time to discuss the matter and refused to reply after shutting the door.
According to the APB, the police officers present at the hotel had asked Lai and other activists if they wished to leave or whether they wanted food and drinks around 3 p.m.. Lai thanked the police, asking why the hotel refused to take their orders for room service, to which the APB officers replied that room services were not available to non-guests.
After listing the detailed happenings of the door-forcing incident, the APB went on to stress that the accusations made by the activists were false.