August 6-12, 2012
PCT speaks out against Beijing and Ma Ying-jeou on detainment of Chung Ting-pang in China
Reported by Lin Yi-ying
Written by Lydia Ma
This year’s August 8, also known as Father’s Day in Taiwan, was a difficult day for the Chung family because the father of the household is missing. Chung Ting-pang is a 53-year-old Taiwanese businessman and Falun Gong practitioner who travelled to China to visit relatives. On June 18, 2012, as he was about to return to Taiwan, he was arrested by intelligence officers in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province and accused of “sabotaging national and public security”. Chung has since been put on house arrest at a local motel.
According to reports, Chung works in the technology industry in Hsinchu Science Park and his father’s family live in Ganzhou and he went to China to visit relatives. In the past 2 months, Chung’s daughter, Chung Ai has exhausted all means she can think of to save her father. She even petitioned on her father’s behalf at the Presidential Palace twice, only to receive a written response in return. So far, no tangible action has been taken by President Ma Ying-jeou in terms of trying to get Chung back to his family.
Commenting on this case, PCT Church and Society Committee Secretary Huang Che-yen said, “The PCT supports Chung Ting-pang because we support human rights and we believe in the Christian principles on which we stand on!” Huang elaborated that human dignity is endowed by God and protecting human dignity is the duty of every Christian. He said that although Chung is not a Christian, the PCT is rallying for his release because this is a case of religious and political persecution. Such persecution is contrary to Christian principles which call believers to uphold basic human rights. For this reason, the PCT cannot stand in the sidelines even though Chung does not share the same belief in God as the PCT. Furthermore, though Chung is a Falun Gong practitioner, he is still a citizen of Taiwan, and it is unacceptable for Chinese authorities to detain him arbitrarily and illegally based on such vague charges.
“Ma Ying-jeou neglected his duty as President in this matter!” said Huang. He said the President should protest the illegal detainment of a Taiwanese citizen while travelling abroad. But instead, this incident merely shows that the President has failed in being the leader as he obviously cannot even protect the most basic human rights of Taiwanese citizens.