Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Dean Zain is a British expat who is accused of killing a newspaper deliveryman while driving under influence of alcohol in Taiwan.
The most recent news report from the Taipei Times
Mr. Zain asked the prosecutors to release road videos near where the accident took place, and requested court presence of a human rights observer, which are quite reasonable by western standard but refused by Taiwan's justice system.
Right at the very end of the above link,
“We’ll work hard to capture the escaped offender,” Ma said.
But I wish Mr. Ma was not talking about the "offender" who has been assumed guilty until proven innocent.
A blog post from the View from Taiwan shortly after Dean Zain's accident and his statement:
Another post shortly after Dean Zain received a verdict:
And Mr. Zain's recent statements:
The above post has led us to the "must-read" excellent links for understanding Taiwan's justice system written by Brian Kennedy, an American attorney living in Taiwan. If you haven't read these links from my previous post's references section, you should read them now.
See Judging the judges
See Taiwan's Criminal Justice System: Clash of Cultures
Well, I don't know anyone in Dean Zain's case, but if I were a jury as in the Northern American justice system, I would question the prosecutors as to why there was no road video exist in this case when there are in fact many cameras along the road.
And this news article further made readers believe that Taiwan's road surveillance system is quite good, but when it comes to Dean Zain's case, the cameras were not working???
After reading nearly all the news and comments in this case I have concluded that the judge has reached a verdict without any proof of Zain's guilty charge. Not only me but many foreign expats in Taiwan who read news from a variety of sources have the same conclusion as me including this one that I just discovered from the internet, who shared the same view as me - Dean Zain GUPI - and putting this as the title of his post, so I will link it because I really like reading the "truth" in Taiwan and not those government propaganda stuff.
Mr. Zain said he was the passenger and not the driver in a hit and run accident involving driving under influence of alcohol, so the justice system actually needs to investigate if a driver offered by the KTV may have been the driver who caused the accident and killed a newspaper deliveryman.
This is exactly what the judge should focus on without any media pressure or media influence in Taiwan!
Did Mr. Zain lie or is the KTV owner a close friend of the prosecutors?
And why in Taiwan a KTV employee is allowed to drive a client's car? or is it not allowed but they do it anyway?
In north America, only the person(s) insured under a car insurance plan (i.e. listed as drivers for the car) are allowed to drive the car. Clearly one of the lessons we learned from this case is that:
In future, only a client's relative or friend, or a taxi driver should be allowed to take the client home, leaving the client's car behind to be picked up the next day. The only time that a client's car can be used to drive him / her home is when a relative or friend of the client is also listed as a driver sharing the same car as the client under an insurance plan and has not consumed alcohol at that moment. If parking is a problem, a client should simply go to and leave an entertainment place, where alcohols are served, by a taxi when they know in advance that they may drink excessively.
Unrelated to Mr. Zain's case, but a recent news that shows Taiwan's prosecutors should press charges carefully and should respect people's right to assembly.
See Student protest Laosheng
Taiwan suspended death penalty executions during the DPP era, but has resumed with the Ma administration. With the justice system stands the way it is now, is Mr. Ma, a Harvard-educated law scholar (without passing any law exam, Ma cannot be called a Harvard-educated lawyer) satisfied with his justice department's handling of each case of capital punishment conviction?
No one should be pronounced guilty until proven innocent. This is simply respecting human rights.
Mr. Ma signs papers such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to appear good but people are waiting for him to act!
In conclusion, improving the quality of the judges is an imminent task in Taiwan. Taiwan resumed executions of inmates, but low-quality judges and death penalty simply cannot coexist.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Human rights improvement needs actions, and not just a report. When will Ma Ying-jeou realize that?
Perhaps Ma doesn't care about carrying out much-needed transitional justice but he cares about how to make his administration "look good" on the surface, so on March 31 2009 Taiwan ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
See news on Taiwan's ratification http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/good-news/taiwan-signs-human-rights-20090409
Ma chose this "good-looking" route despite that the UN rejected Taiwan's deposit of ratification, and the UN Human Rights Committee is ineffective.
See UN refusal of Taiwan's deposit
See UN's ineffectiveness
Recently, Taiwan's first national report on human rights by 10 experts invited by Ma is out.
See news on Taiwan's human rights report http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2013/03/04/2003556203
It urged the Ma administration on the following issues:
- to abolish capital punishment,
- to suspend the execution of death sentences,
- to reveal the truth behind the White Terror era,
- to respect freedom of assembly,
- and to prevent monopolization of the media.
The 84 recommendations listed by the experts included calls for the improvement of rights for migrant workers, Aborigines, women, gay and transgender people, and people with disabilities.
On an issue that has gathered great domestic attention, the experts said that the Ma administration should “take appropriate action in relation to the serious health problems of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
But it was 4 months ago that Ma should have already heard of foreign "medical experts" call for Chen's medical parole.
See Medical experts call for Chen's medical parole
A US medical team that examined Chen in June 2012 said that statements from the Ma administration that Chen was receiving adequate medical treatment were “ludicrous.”
The team, including Ken Yoneda and Charles Whitcomb — both professors of medicine at the University of California — said in a joint statement that Chen’s imprisonment conditions were “substandard and inhumane.”
They said the conditions were a major contributing factor, if not the cause, of Chen’s current physical and mental problems.
This is the recent (February 24 2013) response from Taiwan's Ministry of Justice: no medical parole for Chen!
See news of no medical parole for Chen
This is another more recent call for his medical parole by David Reid.
And more concern about the issue of Chen's recent medical conditions http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2013/03/14/2003557047
"According to international human-rights activists, his prison’s harsh standard of treatment, which falls well below international norms, is contributing to serious illness."
"At the age of 61, Mr Chen has been confined to a tiny, damp and sometimes ant-ridden cell, with one cell mate but without a bed for four years. Aside from 60 minutes’ daily exercise, his life for most of this time has been restricted to lying and standing in a personal space roughly the size of an office lift."
The above is from the Economist, read the whole article here.
Recently church also raised questions for Chen's human rights.
Let's recap what Chen Shui-bian said when he was mentally fit to be interviewed:
"Soon after I became president in the year 2000, I made the decision to cut my salary in half. So, accumulated over the past almost seven years, I have saved the nation at least 40 million New Taiwan dollars. It is impossible to imagine that I would spend five years to collect more than 700 receipts just to obtain illegally about 14 million NT dollars and put that into my pocket."
The above Chen statement is from the CNN's Talk Asia in 2007. http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/01/29/talkasia.chen.script/index.html
Not to be missed is The ahBien story by a non-English-teaching professional resident in Taiwan.
Ironically, Chen Shui-bian, the former Taiwanese president, who is the youngest-person-ever-to-pass-the-ROC-bar-exam, is being jailed by the never-passed-any-bar-exam Ma Ying-jeou.
See this link for Chen's biography for his university years. Scroll down to the section with alphabet "c". http://www.ibiblio.org/chinesehistory/contents/06dat/bio.5roc.html
"In June 1969, he was admitted to the National Taiwan University. Initially a business administration major, he switched to law in his first year and became editor of the law review. He passed the bar exams before the completion of his junior year with the highest score, earning him the distinction of being Taiwan's youngest lawyer. He graduated in 1974 with a LL.B. in commercial law."
Chen's struggle with Taiwan's GUPI (Guilty Until Proven Innocent) Court
On November 6, 2010 Chen was found not guilty in bribery.
So, nobody really knows why Chen has spent so many days in jail, and I bet the majority of Taiwanese do not actually know the judicial "details" of Chen's charges and sentences, this Jurist website gives some quick summary chronologically.
If one pays close attention, Taiwan's Taipei District Court first sentenced Chen to life imprisonment in September 2009, but later the Taiwan Supreme Court found out that they could not find evidence to support the accusation by prosecutors that Chen embezzled money from the "state fund" account!
See also Chen Shui-bian jail term reduced. http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20110827-296481.html
So Chen was initially sentenced to life without all the evidence gathering! Judge Tsai Shou-hsun who initially sentenced Chen to life imprisonment only knew how to 死背古書而不會推理 recite old Chinese texts but didn't know how to reason. He got away from incompetence, not penalized for reaching a sentence without full verification of facts while Chen has suffered being called a corrupted president who mis-used state fund.
"The irony about Chen Shui-bian’s legal battle is that it would have been thrown out of court and ended long ago when Chen was still healthy had it occured in the US."
See this letter to the Taipei Times editor. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2013/03/05/2003556293
And in Canada, and in Europe too...
While inmates are allowed to publish articles they write in prison, Chen was banned from publishing some articles by prison officials. Clearly this is not likely the decision of the prison itself, but of some higher ranking authority in Taiwan.
See Taiwan bans ex-leader from publishing jail article http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/asia/Story/A1Story20110620-285105.html
A-bian’s trials show justice as political tool: academics
Chen Shui-bian's trial is a disgrace for Taiwan's judicial system.
It shows that human rights improvement and transitional justice need actions and not just a report. Taiwan's justice system needs a total overhaul!
Excellent links for understanding Taiwan's justice system written by Brian Kennedy, an American attorney living in Taiwan.
See Judging the judges
See Taiwan's Criminal Justice System: Clash of Cultures
Courts must heed people's wishes
Saturday, January 14, 2012
“Taiwan Next”? To achieve this DPP’s campaign slogan, I would say to Taiwanese eligible voters estimated at 18,090,255, “Parliament First!”
The UK government agrees that one of the fundamental rights of every human being is to have the highest attainable standards of health available to them and the UK government is committed to making this a priority around the globe.
Further more, we agree that Taiwan's absence from systems for co-ordination of international health issues is undesirable. In common with our EU partners, we hope the WHO will adopt practical measures to allow Taiwan to participate in its activities.
We do not believe that supporting Taiwan's bid for observer status of the World Health Assembly would bring any practical benefit. On the contrary, we see it as a largely political move which simply serves to impede the practical solution we all want. Taiwan's effective participation can only be achieved with the agreement of all WHO members, including China.
We and the EU have been supportive of attempts to find a workable solution and will continue to work for this, including by exploring more practical approaches with the new Taiwanese administration.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Consequently, the United States passports may not be issued showing place of birth as “Taiwan, China,” “Taiwan, Republic of China,” or “Taiwan ROC,” but for the “mainlanders on Taiwan”, it may show “People’s Republic of China” as their country of birth, but their country of nationality (on application form N-400) should be listed as “Taiwan”.
Some excerpt from the memo:
The adjudicator must not require an applicant to list “Taiwan, PRC,” “Taiwan, China,” “Taiwan, Republic of China,” “Taiwan, ROC,” or “People’s Republic of China” as the country of birth or nationality on Form N-400 if the applicant has indicated “Taiwan” and the documentary evidence submitted supports their claim.
Note that some applicants may have been born in the PRC but currently hold a Taiwan passport because they moved from the mainland (PRC) to Taiwan long ago. For those applicants, the country of birth should be listed as “People’s Republic of China” and the country of nationality should be listed as “Taiwan” on their Form N-400.
The ISO country code “virus”Many organizations, corporations, governments claim that they are “apolitical” and simply use the “standard” ISO country codes assigned for Taiwan to represent Taiwan, but on the ISO country coding system, Taiwan has been mistakenly listed in the country name’s “short form” as “Taiwan, Province of China” (note: the name is neither short nor reflect the reality of de-facto independent status of Taiwan).
This is a well-planned “virus” by the UN Statistical Division (which is under the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) with a Chinese head, Sha Zukang since July 1, 2007) to annex Taiwan through the convenience of ISO “standardization” code, which is used by many businesses. I have even noticed on many university advertisements on the internet for recruiting international students, Taiwan has been listed erroneously as a province of China due likely to this ISO country code “virus”.
On the surface, the ISO seems to show that this “short” name for Taiwan has existed since 1974 when the list was originally created, but I suspect the change of name actually took place in more recent year, otherwise it would have been noticed long ago by Taiwan’s government during the 8 years of DPP in power, and Taiwan’s lawsuit against ISO in Swiss court would have taken place in earlier year than 2007.
The people of Taiwan are waiting for an explanation as to the progress of this lawsuit, has there been a judgment? Did the plaintiff drop the charge? When and why? Was there a secret deal in which both Ma’s KMT-ROC and Hu’s CCP-PRC agreed to use a code “Taiwan, a province of China” so that each party could interpret the “greater China” the way each party likes, but not according to the will of the majority of Taiwan’s citizens?
The UN has no rights (see reference number 2 regarding MOU) to sign any memo against a non-member state (such as the WHO’s secret MOU with China regarding Taiwan’s communication with WHO be routed through China), nor to change a country’s name arbitrarily simply because of pressures from another bullying state.
The UN resolution 2758 resolves the question of who should represent China and mentions nothing about who should represent the 23 million people of Taiwan.
If UN is serious about promotion of human rights and human dignity, its geographic “experts” should be investigated for possible “pressures” from above, and the UNDESA under secretary should be probed for his “incompetence” and his role in helping the spread of the Taiwan ISO country code “virus” around the globe.
1. A quick reference on Sha Zukang’s background revealed that he had previously served as Director-General, Department of Arms Control, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1997-2001) and earlier as Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs, how ironic!
2. MOU should involve only the mutual beneficiaries of the signing parties, it should contain nothing about a 3rd party outside of the negotiation process.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
No one in China can run an operation this big....
Who else is so interested in the Dalai Lama?
The People’s Liberation Army also operates a technical reconnaissance bureau in Chengdu (my note: the city is China’s IT and national defense R&D center), and helps finance the university’s research on computer network defense.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Read today's Taipei Times News on Trade deal renegotiation unlikely: MAC and notice the 3 paragraphs near the end:
Recently, a Chinese firm selling liquid-crystal-display (LCD) television sets, Qimei, was found to bear a similar name to Taiwanese LCD panel maker, Chi Mei.
Liu said the Taiwanese firm must first find out whether its Chinese counterpart was officially registered in China before it takes the matter to a Chinese court.
Liu said he was uncertain whether it was the first violation of brand name in the electronics products industry, but similar occurrences were rampant in the agricultural sector.
We are not opposing the signing of ECFA simply because we want to be against whatever policies or agreements that the Ma government wishes to push through without any clear content. We are more concerned about the future livelihood of the people in Taiwan and especially when facing a hostile neighbor.
For example, the KMT government should have some thoughts about accompanying protection measures for traditional industries such as the farming industry, the objectives of such protection is to avoid the takeover of lower-quality mass agricultural production by China's cheaper labor force, which perhaps has already taken place in China's Hainan island (growing Taiwan's fruits and vegetables with seeds from years of painstaking Taiwanese R&D).
The European Union model should be studied by Taiwan, and perhaps also by 16 ASEAN countries, and Asian members of the APEC.
The European Union promotes and preserves products quality and uniqueness through a system of certification process in 3 different levels (a must read refer to the wikipedia link Protected designation of origin): protected designation of origin (PDO), protected geographical indication (PGI) ,traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG) .
The purpose of this European law is to protect the reputation of the regional foods and eliminate the unfair competition and misleading of consumers by non-genuine products, which may be of inferior quality or of different taste because of natural climate factor or processing method variations.
These days, all kinds of varieties of mushrooms (including the traditional Japanese Shiitake mushroom) could be found on sale in the French Carrefour supermarket chains, all are produced in China. The Japanese Shiitake mushroom could only be grown in traditional Japanese locations using ancient methods before 1982. Not knowing under what environment this mushroom is grown in China whose industry has polluted most part of the country and my instinct of avoiding Chinese products has led me to choose only the domestic or other European-grown mushrooms and skip the Chinese "Shiitake" mushroom. For consumers protection, the Chinese grown "Shiitake" mushroom could have used a different name, such as the name of the region where the mushroom is cultivated.
I wouldn't want to see all kinds of Taiwanese regional products grown in China after ECFA is inked with different tastes but bearing the same names as the original Taiwanese names, for example, Wen-shan Bao-Zhong tea.
It makes sense for the EU member states to conduct business more fairly this way among member states even though they do not face each other with hostilities and missiles. Confronting China's territorial claim, missile threat, diplomatic isolation, and blocking entrance to and / or arbitrary name change to our international organization membership, Taiwan simply cannot sign the ECFA with no protection measures for our traditional industry and with no specific guarantee from China that it will not interfere with Taiwan's trade negotiations with other countries including signing FTAs with individual ASEAN members.
Businessmen from any western nations should diversify manufacturing to many other developing nations in the world and could also help promote world peace and security since other developing nations, unlike China, do not burden the world with military expansion, cyber crimes, and infringement on intellectual properties.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
My question: If China’s state-owned banks have money to lend globally, does China still need any international aids?
The Guardian reported: iPhone apps about Dalai Lama blocked in China.
My comment: Is self-censoring going to extend its boundary beyond China in future? I’m afraid it has started from its neighbor, Taiwan’s MAC office.
"There are three different groups of earthworms; those that stay near the top of the soil, those that burrow horizontally and those that burrow vertically," said Dr. Neilson. "The paths of the horizontal and vertical earthworms cross; creating important natural drainage channels in the soil. If there is a reduction in the earthworm population there would be less natural drainage and that combined with increased rainfall caused by climate change could result in more flooding."
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province, said it would join the rescue effort, while its president-elect Ma Ying-jeou, who has moved to repair ties with China, donated 200,000 Taiwan dollars (6,500 US) from his own pocket.
Among all these relief efforts, the assistance coming from Taiwan has reportedly topped that of any other nation in the world. Just days after the quake, the Republic of China (ROC) government proposed a NT$2 billion (US$67 million) aid package for mainland China, including NT$700 million (US$23 million) in cash made immediately available and NT$100 million (US$3 million) in relief supplies including 2,000 tons of rice. The remaining NT$1.2 billion (US$40 million) was earmarked for post-quake reconstruction projects to be funded from public donations.
By late May, cash donations from the ROC government, enterprises, organizations and individuals had already reached more than RMB780 million (US$113 million), according to news releases from the mainland China's State Council. Of the top five cash donors among multinationals, four were Taiwanese enterprises, including Formosa Plastics Group, Evergreen Group, Foxconn Technology Group and RT-Mart International Ltd.
ARATS said it received NT$450 million (US$13 million) in donations from people in China, adding it had given NT$150 million to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and would wire the remaining NT$300 million next week.