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Taiwan groups to march in support of Hong Kong protesters

2019/09/12 19:35:28

Co-founder of the Taiwan Citizen Front Chiang Min-yen (front)

Taipei, Sept. 12 (CNA) More than 100 civil and student groups will stage simultaneous demonstrations on Sept. 29 in three major cities in Taiwan, in support of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, the organizers said Thursday.

In Taipei, the demonstrators will march from the Legislative Yuan to the Ximending shopping district and back, going past Taipei Main Station, Chiang Min-yen (江旻諺), co-founder of the Taiwan Citizen Front and one of the organizers, said at a press conference.

Similar marches will be held simultaneously in Taichung and Kaohsiung under the theme "Taiwan-Hong Kong demonstrations: Support Hong Kong; oppose totalitarianism," he said.

The demonstrations are being organized to show support for the people of Hong Kong who have been staging mass protests over the past 10 weeks, calling for greater democracy and an inquiry into alleged police brutality, among other demands, according to Chiang.

"All the demands of the Hong Kong protesters must be met," Chiang said, adding that the demonstrations in Taiwan will be highlighting the protesters' calls in Hong Kong, which include dropping charges against them and withdrawing the use of the word "riots" to describe the mass protests there.

The Taiwan groups will also be urging the Taiwan government to refuse a "one-China" peace agreement, for the Hong Kong government to release Hong Kong student protesters and allow them to study in Taiwan, and for the Taiwan government to establish a system to take in Hong Kong political refugees, he said.

Also speaking at the press conference, Annie Huang (黃尚卿), acting director of Amnesty International Taiwan, said Hong Kong police have fired 1,800 rounds of tear gas at protesters and made more than 1,000 arrests since the demonstrations erupted there three months ago over a bill that would have allowed the extradition of crime suspects to China.

On Sept. 4, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the withdrawal of the controversial bill, but the protests continued as they had already evolved into a broader movement against alleged police brutality, a lack of autonomy and other related issues.

Huang said the pressure from the international community will not stop until the Hong Kong government takes responsibility for the excessive use of force against the protesters and appoints an independent committee to investigate the allegations of police brutality.

Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強), a co-founder of Taiwan Citizen Front, said at the press conference that the Hong Kong people can only give voice to their concerns through protests because they cannot do so by means of the ballot.

Taiwanese should support the Hong Kong people because both sides are facing common threats from China's ambitions for hegemony in Asia, Lai said.

The rallies in Taiwan will not only support the ongoing protests in Hong Kong but will also commemorate the 5th anniversary of Hong Kong's "Umbrella Revolution," a series of sit-in protests that started on Sept. 26, 2014 to demand "true universal suffrage," the Taiwan groups said.

(By Emerson Lim)
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