June 18-24, 2012
WUFI Vice-President questioned by police for violating the Assembly and Parade Act
Reported by Lin Yi-ying
Written by Lydia Ma
World United Formosans for Independence (WUFI) Vice-President Wu Ting-he was seen “strolling” outside of the Presidential Palace from May 15 to June 2, 2012 while wearing a t-shirt with the words “Stop Selling Out Taiwan”. As result, he was called into the police station on June 13 on the grounds of having violated the Assembly and Parade Act.
In response, Wu went to the Zhongzheng First Police District in Taipei to complain that police officers had violated his basic human rights and freedoms by prohibiting him from strolling in front of the Presidential Palace. “Can’t I take a stroll by myself?” he asked, adding that he did not see how he could have broken any laws for such an act. For this reason, he was filing a complaint that police officers had broken the law by stopping him. However, Wu later said that the officer who took his complaint also purposely gave him a hard time.
According to Wu, since the Assembly and Parade Act was enacted by the Legislative Yuan, then, it should be enforced as it was intended. Using this law against him had no legal basis because he was walking quietly and alone. Furthermore, since he carried no banners and shouted no slogans, it could not be considered as a protest or rally. Though a few people saw him and later emulated what he did, they had done so independently.
Wu also said that the Assembly and Parade Act had long been considered by the public as an unconstitutional and evil law and should not have been applied to his case. However, what angered him the most about this matter was that, while many Chinese tourists can freely and boldly take pictures in front of the Presidential Palace, Taiwanese citizens are not allowed to take a free “stroll” in front of the Presidential Palace.
As a Christian seeker attending a local PCT church, Wu has attended many services at Taiwanese Presbyterian churches while in the US and he has even sung in some choirs. He added that he holds a high regard for PCT’s social outreach ministries and believes that he will one day be baptized and become a Christian.