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One Lennon Wall dispute settled, another moves to court

2019/10/16 22:47:07

The Lennon Wall at National Tsing Hua University (CNA file photo)

Taipei, Oct. 16 (CNA) Two recent conflicts over messages of support for Hong Kong, posted on Lennon Walls on school campuses, moved closer to resolution this week, as students at one university reached an out-of-court settlement, while those at another school decided to move forward with a lawsuit, their respective student associations said Wednesday.

The Chinese Culture University (CCU) Student Association said Tuesday that a dispute over a Sept. 24 altercation would not go to court, after a Chinese exchange student agreed to issue a public apology for his actions.

The dispute arose when a group of pro-China students attempted to tear down messages at a Lennon Wall near the CCU campus.

When a second group of students intervened, a physical altercation broke out, resulting in injury to a female exchange student from Hong Kong.

According to the CCU student association, the two sides reached a settlement in an Oct. 14 meeting at the Shilin District Prosecutors Office in Taipei, and the Chinese student agreed to issue a public apology.

"Since I am in Taiwan, I should respect Taiwanese law and freedom of speech, and should not hurt anyone for holding different views," the Chinese student said, according to the CCU student association.

In another case of alleged campus vandalism, the National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) student association has decided to sue the alleged perpetrator.

According to Hsinchu City police, a Chinese exchange student surnamed Liu (劉) on Sept. 30 allegedly ripped down messages that had been posted on NTHU's Lennon Wall.

After being reported, Liu was questioned by investigators and admitted that she had torn down the messages because they contained radical statements, police said.

On Wednesday, NTHU Student Association President Lai Yung-hsiu (賴永岫) said that after internal discussions, his group had decided to file a lawsuit against Liu.

The association said the Lennon Wall was its property and that acts of vandalism at the wall were subject to civil or criminal legal action.

Although Liu is a student at the university, the student association has a responsibility to stand up for free and democratic values, Lai said.

For that reason, the group decided not to seek a settlement and instead will pursue the matter in court, Lai said.

(By Phoenix Hsu, Kuo Hsuan-wen, and Matthew Mazzetta)

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