Press Release by Taiwan Association for Human Rights
Condemning Taipei City Government
violate ordinary people’s rights for developers’ interest!
March 28, 2012
Taiwan is always proud of its democratic progress and human rights protection in Asia region. However, more and more government sanctioned renewal projects without procedural due process and more and more forced evictions for the interests of development companies are now taking place in Taiwan.
However, this morning, a family have been forced eviction by Taipei Police because of a controversial urban renewal project. This family, the Wangs, are forced to become a part of the government sanctioned renewal zone without any notifications of public hearings. It is both a clear violation of the due process of law and an infringement of Wang’s legitimate rights since the Wang families have firmly rejected the offer from the company to be part of the renewal project in the very beginning stage.
Over hundreds young activists were gathering in the Wangs’ House while Taipei City Government note that the houses would be demolished soon. Those voluntary activists resist the forced eviction with non-violent approach but Taipei City Government deployed near a thousand police to expel all protestors including the house owners from the site. The backhoes were working to tear down the Wangs’ house now !
The key issues are caused by the flaws and problems in the Urban Renewal Act. According to the Article 11, the scope of the renewal zoning could be drawn by any developer at will without the actual notice of land owners affected. Article 22 also allows the developers to get renewal permit without consensus from all residents or owners even though they may have refused to be part of the renewal zone. Furthermore, Article 36 allows the developers to resort to public authorities to evict the residents and demolish their houses.
The case of Wang families is not a single incidence. There are 52 urban communities in Taiwan now facing the similar situations. We are deeply concerning the bad
Taiwan government has ratified ICCPR and ICESCR and passed the Enforcement Act of Two Covenants by its Legislative Yuan in 2009. Thus, Taiwan government indeed has the obligation to respect and protect the right to adequate housing according to ICESCR no.11 and the ICESCR general comment no.7.
The forced evictions of the citizens’ houses for the interests of the construction company are clearly not in the interests of public benefit or welfare.
We strongly condemning the acts by Taipei City Government and urge Taiwan government to
1) Stop any forced eviction in the process of urban renewal project and organize a consult meeting for the families who are in threat of forced evictions
2.) Investigate the wrong-doings by the Police and public officers in the evcition of March 28
3.) Revise the Urban Renewal Act in accordance with the Constitution in Taiwan and ICESCR