2008/11/21 第661期

Open letter on erosion of justice in Taiwan

Thursday, Nov 06, 2008

The undersigned, scholars and writers from the US, Europe and Australia, wish to express their deep concern about the recent series of detentions in Taiwan of present and former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government officials. To date there have been at least seven such cases.

It is obvious that there have been cases of corruption in Taiwan, but these have occurred in both political camps. The political neutrality of the judicial system is an essential element in a democracy. It is also essential that any accused are considered innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.

We also believe that the procedures followed by the prosecutor's offices are severely flawed: while one or two of the accused have been formally charged, the majority is being held incommunicado without being charged. This is a severe contravention of the writ of habeas corpus and a basic violation of due process, justice and the rule of law.?

In the meantime, the prosecutor's offices evidently leak detrimental information to the press. This kind of "trial by press" is a violation of the basic standards of judicial procedures. It also gives the distinct impression that the Kuomintang (KMT) authorities are using the judicial system to get even with members of the former DPP government.

In addition, the people who are being held incommunicado are of course unable to defend themselves against the misreporting and the leaks in the news media.

We do firmly believe that any alleged wrongdoings must be dealt with in a fair and open manner in an impartial court. Justice through the rule of law is essential to Taiwan's efforts to consolidate democracy and protect fundamental human rights.

We do not want to see Taiwan's hard-earned democracy jeopardized in this manner. Taiwan can justifiably be proud of its transition to democracy in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It would be sad for Taiwan and detrimental to its international image if the progress which was made during the past 20 years would be erased. Taiwan needs to move forward, not backwards to the unfair and unjust procedures as practiced during the dark days of Martial Law (1947-1987).

Signed: (簽名者)

Julian Baum

Former Far Eastern Economic Review bureau chief(前《� 東經濟評論》社長)

Nat Bellocchi (白樂崎)

Former American Institute in Taiwan chairman(前美國在台協會理事主席)

Coen Blaauw

Formosan Association for Public Affairs, Washington(台灣人公共事務協會)

David Prager Branner

Director at large (East Asia),

American Oriental Society(美國東方學會東亞區理事長)

Gordon G. Chang

Author of

The Coming Collapse of China(《中國即將崩潰》作者)

PROF. June Teufel Dreyer

University of Miami(邁阿密大學外交政策� �究中心教授)

PROF. Edward Friedman

University of Wisconsin(威斯康辛大學麥迪遜分� �政治系教授)

PROF. Bruce Jacobs

Monash University(澳洲莫那許大學中國� �究學程教授)

Richard C. Kagan

Professor emeritus,

Hamline University(美國亨萊大學歷史系教授)

Jerome Keating

Author and former associate professor, National Taipei University(前台北大學副教授)

ASSOC. PROF. Daniel Lynch

School of International Relations, University of Southern California(南� 大國際關係學院教授)

PROF. Victor H. Mair

University of Pennsylvania(賓州大學中國語文學教授)

ASSOC. PROF. Donald Rodgers

Austin College(奧斯汀學院教授)

PROF. Terence Russell

University of Manitoba(� 拿大曼尼托巴大學教授)

PROF. Scott Simon

University of Ottawa(� 拿大渥太華大學教授)

John J. Tkacik Jr

Senior research fellow,

The Heritage Foundation(美國傳統基金會資深� �究員)

Gerrit van der Wees

Editor, Taiwan Communique(《台灣公� �》編輯)

PROF. Arthur Waldron

University of Pennsylvania(賓州大學教授)

PROF. Vincent Wei-cheng Wang

University of Richmond(美國瑞奇蒙大學教授)

Stephen Yates

President of DC Asia Advisory and former deputy assistant to the vice president for national security affairs.(華府首席亞洲顧問&前美國副總統國安事務副助理國務卿)


20年的驕傲  馬上摧毀



自然,台灣是有貪污的狀況,但這樣的狀況,在國、民兩黨皆都存在著。而司法系統的政治中立,則是民主能否持續的基本要� 。同時,在法庭證明其罪行成立前,任何被告應被無罪推定,這也是基本的法理原則!


與此同時,檢察官辦公室顯然又選擇性地將不利的資訊洩露給新聞界。這樣的運用「新聞審判」手法,是違反了司法程序上的基本準則。也� 此,不得不讓人產生了「國民黨政府正運用司法系統來清算前民進黨政府成員」的印象。

另外,被告由於遭收押囚禁,自然便無法針對種種的誤� �與「新聞審判」進行說明與自清。

我們� �信,任何被指控的不法行為必� �是在一個中立的法庭裡,以一種公正和公開的方式被處理。遵循法律規範的司法,對台灣在鞏固民主和保護基本人權的努力上,是不可或缺的基本要件。

我們不願見到台灣得來不易的民主就這樣被毀壞。台灣是有資� �為其在1980年代末期至1990年代初期的民主轉變感到驕傲。然過去20年在民主上的進展,若就這樣被一筆消去,這對台灣不但將會是悲哀,也將損害到其國際形象。台灣需要向前邁進,而不是倒退回戒嚴令時期(1947?1987年)那一段司法程序不公平和不正義的黑暗日子。