Prosecutors seek to detain student organizer of Cabinet break-in

03/24/2014 08:45 PM
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Protester leader Wei Yang, in front of the Executive Yuan, Sunday night.
Protester leader Wei Yang, in front of the Executive Yuan, Sunday night.

Taipei, March 24 (CAN) Prosecutors on Monday filed a request to detain the graduate student who claims to have led the occupation protest at the Executive Yuan the night before.

In a filing to the Taipei District Court, prosecutors accused Wei Yang, a graduate student in sociology at National Tsing Hua University, of mobilizing people to obstruct public duties, instigation, vandalism and trespassing, among other offenses.

They have asked for his detention out of concern that he could collude with others.

Taipei District Court was set to hear the request Monday night.

Wei was among the first to climb over the barbed wire barricades around the Executive Yuan around 7:30 p.m. Sunday using blankets as the 40 or so police officers at the compound were changing shifts.

He had posted a call to storm the Cabinet building Sunday on Facebook: "Sorry, I know it's irresponsible to mobilize people like this, but come to the Executive Yuan to give support if you are willing."

He wrote that by storming the complex, he could help relieve some of the pressure on "comrades" protesting the service trade agreement with China inside the Legislative Yuan a block away.

After gaining entry to the Executive Yuan, the student protesters vowed to prevent the government from opening Monday, breaking into the main building and damaging facilities within.

Around 5,000 police in full riot gear managed to clear hundreds of protesters from inside and around the complex by 5:00 a.m. Monday by advancing through the crowds in several pushes and eventually using high-pressure water cannons.

Police arrested 61 people and turned 35 of them over to prosecutors for investigation. Aside from Wei, 13 were released on bail of NT$20,000-NT$30,000, another 18 were confined to their residences and three were released.

Local media outlets have focused on Wei's ancestry. His great grandfather Yang Kui (1906-1985) was a prominent novelist who was jailed in connection with the 228 Incident, a Feb. 28, 1947 uprising against corruption and abuse of power in the Kuomintang administration. Wei's great uncle Wei Ting-chao (1935-1999) was a human rights activist and political figure.

Both of Wei's parents teach at National Dong Hwa University.

(By Page Tsai and Lilian Wu)


Update: Wei is released without bail by the Taipei District Court some time after 12 a.m. Tuesday; click here for the story.

Related stories:March 24:●'Out of control' protests prompt action: premier (update)Executive Yuan protesters dispersed with water cannons

March 23:●Protesters enter Executive Yuan, extending occupation movement frontline

(Click here for the latest on the ongoing protest and developments since the Legislature occupation starting March 18.)

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