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DPP councilors sue police for physical assault

2012/05/17 18:38:57

Taipei, May 17 (CNA) Members of the opposition Democratic Progressing Party (DPP) filed lawsuits against Taipei police Thursday for physical assault, a day after clashes broke out between party protesters and police.

The legal action was filed with the Taipei District Court by DPP Taipei City Councilor Tung Chung-yen and Tainan Councilor Wang Ding-yu.

The lawsuits were brought against Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin and Fang Yang-ning, head of the Zhongzheng First Police Prisinct,on claims of physical assault, sexual harassment and offenses againstpersonal liberty.

The incident arose from a DPP protest, led by Tung and Wang on Wednesday, against fuel and electricity price hikes.

During the protest on Kadagalan Boulevard in front of thePresidential Office, clashes broke out between demonstrators and police, leaving several protesters and policemen badly bruised.

Tung and Wang said although the gathering to petition was legal, the police had forcefully disbanded the protest.

Fang denied the DPP city councilors claims, saying the police had asked the protesters on several occassions beforehand to apply for permission to assembly, but the group had not complied.

In addition, some protesters had rammed into police who were trying to maintain order, injuring several police officers in the process, said Fang. He said people should apply for permission to hold public gatherings, which would help maintain social order.

Zhongzheng First Police Prisinct said the Constitution protects people's right to assembly and police would respect legal assemblies and provide protection and assistance.

The police officers involved in the incident said they will submit to investigations, and will forward evidence from the scene to prosecutors for inspection.

(By Tsai Pei-chi, Wen Kuei-hsiang, Liu Chien-bang and C.J. Lin)