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July 30, 1981 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1981-07-30

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Opinion
Page 6 Thursday, July 30, 1981 The Michigan Daily
1'

The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCI, No. 51-S
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
A fairy tale
'HAVE A SEAT, son. Let Daddy tell
you a story.
"Once upon a time, in a strange and distant
place, there was a kingdom. It was a vast
kingdom consisting of many lands, on all cor-
ners of the Earth. For centuries, the kingdom
prospered, and its people were contented.
"Yes, just like the fairy tales, son. Kings
and queens and dukes and earls and knights in
shining armour. They played polo, ate rare
and expensive foods, and held important
meetings with many important people.
"Anyway, just when the kingdom seemed to
be perfectly happy, dark days suddenly came.
One by one, the kingdom's great
territories-in North America, Africa, Asia,
and other distant places-decided to leave the
kingdom. The king and queen tried to hold on
to the distant territories, but, alas, all was for
naught.
"Around the globe, the king and queen were
criticized, scorned by their once-loyal subjec-
ts.
"Even within the kingdom's capital of Lon-
don, the subjects were chary and distrustful;
they gradually took away much of the monar-
chs' power. They gave these powers to a new
person, not of royal blood, called a prime
minister.
"For years, the prime minister ruled the
land with a large group of elected represen-
tatives called Parliament.
"Yet the days only grew darker and darker.
The cost of food and clothing became more
than many subjects could pay. There were
more able workers than jobs. And the
kingdom policemen, always known for being
good chaps, began roughing up. subjects,
especially the dark-skinned ones from distant
and exotic territories. For weeks, the cities of
the kingdom burned.
"Alas, the subjects turned to the palace for
help. The prime minister, it seemed, had no
more control than the kings or queens.
In the midst of the bloody revolts, a wedding
took place, and the people rejoiced. An
honorable heir to the throne, Prince Charles,
married a splendid lady called Diana. There
was much merrymaking in London, and the
subjects toasted to brighter days ahead under
the rule of Charles, who would be offered the
crown with great haste.
"'God save the king!' the subjects cried,
awaiting brighter days happily ever after."

Feiffer
R w cAT CAT CALMtIPARg
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At CH 6F 0
GEC; o orse ?
LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Taiwan ese studen ts'
f.ace real dangers

f4

4

To the Daily:
We, the members of the
Executive Committee of the
Formosan Association for
Human Rights Greater Detroit
Chapter, wish to commend the
Michigan Daily for its vigorous
and objective reporting on the
death of Dr. Chen Wen-Chen
(July 9, 1981). We further com-
mend the Daily for its willingness,
to explore the sensitive issues of
spying by certain pro-
Kuomingtang (KMT, the ruling
party in Taiwan) students on the
University of Michigan campus.
The admission by a former of-
ficial of the Free China Student
Association (FCSA) that he per-
sonally knew of at least one spy
active in that organization should
settle the question of whether
such spies exist in Ann Arbor. It
is unfortunate that the individual
was unwilling to be named in the
articles, but in light of Dr. Chen's
fate, his reluctance is understan-
dable.
Incomprehensible, however,
are the charges made by the Free
China Student Association that
the Michigan Daily wa, biased or
in anyway irresponsible in repor-
ting that the KMT' regime in
Taiwan persecutes "Taiwan in-
dependents", and that Taiwan is
a one party police state (July 14,
1981). Every Taiwanese, the
leaders of FCSA included, are
vigorously warned before leaving
Taiwan that advocating indepen-
dence for Taiwan-or even
associating with those who do-is
a seditious offense, punishable by
twelve years imprisonment to
life. This is precisely the "crime"
the Taiwan Garrison Command
accused Dr. Chen of committing,
while he was abroad. Anyone
with the most rudimentary
knowledge of Taiwanese civics
knows no other parties are

allowed except the KMT and two
tiny government-sponsored
minor parties, the leaders of
which are hand-picked by the
KMT. Again, organizing a new
political party is a treasonable of-
fense in Taiwan, and Lei Chen
was sentenced to ten years im-
prisonment in the 1960s for just
this offense. The FCSA also
knows, as do all Taiwanese, that
under terms of martial law, the
mere criticism of the government.
can and frequently is defined as a
criminal offense. Offenders are
tried in military courts, usually .
in secrecy, with no rights to
call witnesses on their behalf,
and without the benefit of cross
examination. Sentences are
severe and acquittals are rare.
These are matters of public
record in Taiwan. Strange that
the FCSA would accuse the
Michigan Daily of bias for repor-
ting on them.
We would also like to draw to
your readers' attention that most
regretably Dr. Chen's death is
not an isolated incident. It bears
chilling reminders of the
February 28, 1980 stabbing mur-
ders of the mother and two twin
daughters of Mr. Lin Yi-Shiong,
an independent member of
Taiwan's legislature, then im-
prisoned for his role in a human
rights demonstration in
Kaohsiung. Only two days prior
to their deaths Mr. Lin was war-
ned by his interrogators at the
Taiwan Garrison that
"something unfavorable" would
happen to his family if he infor-
med them of his treatment there.
Disregarding the warning Lin in-
formed his mother on February
27 that he had been tortured at
the Garrison Command. On
February 28 his mother and twin
daughters were stabbed to death,
only hours after Mrs. Lin infor-

med friends in Japan by inter-
national telephone of Mr. Lin's
mistreatment in custody."Despite
the fact that the Lin home was in-
der twenty-four-hour surveillan-
ce by the secret police up until the
time of the murders, the
Taiwanese police stillhave yet to
solve these murders.
Taiwan is a nation in which
political dissent has become
associated not only with arrest
and imprisonment, but also sud-
den and brutal death. It is a
nation in which dissenters have
reason to fear not only for their
own lives and freedom, but those
of their family as well. As the
case of Dr. Chen and Minnesota
graduate student Rita Yen in-
dicate, ndt even in the United
States is it safe to speak out
against systematic KMT
deprivations of basic freedom,
unless one is resigned to never
returning to one's homeland.
The Formosan Association for
Human Rights, an organization
of Taiwanese concerned about
the lack of freedom in Taiwan, is
grateful to the Michigan Daily for
the role it has played in
publicizing the intimidation of
dissidents in Taiwan and among
Taiwanese students studying
abroad. We join with you in
urging an investigation of the
suspicious circumstances of Dr.
Chen Wen-Chen's death, as well
as the activities of KMT spies on
American campus who must
share the responsibility for his
tragic fate. We pledge to continue
an unremitting struggle for the
protection of Taiwanese Human
Rights, not only in the United
States, but in Taiwan as well.
-Four anonymous members
Formosan Association for
Human-Rights, Greater
Detroit Chapter,
July 24

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