Taiwan: Stop Violent Crackdown against Peaceful Protestors
We, the undersigned civil society organisations, write to you to express our grave concern over the violent dispersal of peaceful protestors on 24 March 2014 at the government headquarters in opposition of the Taiwanese government’s Cross-Straits Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) with China.
We express particular concern over the Taiwanese police’s deployment of water cannons and use of violence, including in forcibly dragging and manhandling protestors out of the government headquarters building where they were protesting on 23 and 24 March 2014. We have also received reports that peaceful and unarmed protestors, as well as journalists, have been beaten by the police during the crackdown, resulting in scores injured. We deplore the heavy-handed action of the police in dispersing the protestors as well as the arrests of dozens of protestors.
It must be reminded that the right to freedom of peaceful assembly is internationally-recognised and Constitutionally-guaranteed. We stress that the peaceful protestors – at the Parliament since 17 March 2014 and at the government headquarters on 23 and 24 March 2014 – have merely been exercising their basic rights in legitimately expressing concern over the potential impacts of the CSSTA, which has been discussed in a non-transparent manner, as demonstrated by the limited nature of public hearings, the rescinding of the stipulated clause-by-clause review of the agreement, as well as the haste with which the agreement was submitted for a final vote in the Parliament.
We therefore urge your government to refrain from any further violent crackdown on all ongoing and future peaceful assemblies, including the continuing protests against the CSSTA at the Parliament. While we appreciate that all those arrested at the government headquarters on 24 March 2014 have been reportedly released, we urge your government not to press charges against individuals in relation to their engagements in any form of peaceful protest against the CSSTA.
We thank you for your attention and consideration.
- Amindo Global Foundation, Indonesia
- Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
- Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), India
- Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Torture (KontraS), Indonesia
- Community Self Reliance Centre (CSRC), Nepal
- Centre for Human Rights and Development, Mongolia
- Cambodian Human Rights and Development Organization(ADHOC), Cambodia
- HAK Association, Timor Leste
- Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com, UK
- Globe International, Mongolia
- Imparsial, Indonesia
- Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), Nepal
- INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre. Srilanka
- Korean House for International Solidarity (KHIS), South Korea
- Law and Society Trust (LST), Sri Lanka
- May 18 Foundation, South Korea
- National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), Pakistan
- Odhikar, Bangladesh
- People’s Empowerment Foundation (PEF), Thailand
- People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), South Korea
- People’s Watch, India
- People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), India
- Perhimpunan Bantuan Hukum dan HAM (PBHI), Indonesia
- Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), the Philippines
- Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI), India
- Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), Malaysia
- Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR), Taiwan
- Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), the Philippines
- Think Centre, Singapore
- Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (YLBHI), Indonesia