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Taiwan Civil Government group has constitutional rights: minister

2015/12/09 19:39

CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 9 (CNA) Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) said Wednesday that a civic group called Taiwan Civil Government, which views the country as being under military occupation since the end of World War II, is an unregistered association but it has constitutional rights.

All civic groups, whether or not they are registered, are protected by the Constitution and have freedom of association and assembly, Chen said in response to lawmakers' questions in a session of the legislative Interior Affairs Committee.

The issue of the status of Taiwan Civil Government, which was established in Taipei in 2008, was raised by several legislators, some of whom expressed concerns over fraudulent activities by the group.

Legislator Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔) said the group claims to offer several benefits to its members, but she suspects its benefits are not above board.

Commenting along similar lines, Legislator Duan Yi-kang (段宜康) said the group is suspected of fleecing people by charging exorbitant fees for its classes.

Furthermore, Duan said, the group claims that its ID cards and custom-made vehicle license plates give people access to many benefits.

In response, Minister Chen said that as long as the cards are not forged or altered national IDs, they can be considered the organization's ID cards.

As for the custom-made auto license plates, it is a violation of the country's traffic regulations for vehicles to carry such plates, he said, adding that the drivers could face heavy fines.

(By C.H. Chen and Lillian Lin) Enditem/pc