Ko: Chen Shui-bian’s detention serves to divide the opposition
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-12 02:38 PM
Huang Huang-hsiung, whose term in the Control Yuan is about to expire, released a medical report on former president Chen Shui-bian Wednesday afternoon with independent candidate for Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je also in attendance. Ko was asked his opinion of the rift that Chen’s imprisonment has caused in the DPP, with one faction arguing to get him out as quickly as possible and another saying he should serve out his time. Ko could only sigh and say that as long as Chen’s presence in jail causes dissension in the pan-Green camp, President Ma Ying-jeou is not going to lift a finger to speed his release.

Huang‘s report, titled "A Full Account of a Comprehensive Investigation into the Medical Human Rights of Former President Chen Chen Shui-bian,” comes nearly 14 months after the case was initiated on September 24, 2012. It was compiled together with medical experts Hsu Chung-yi, Ko Wen-je, Lai Chi-wan, Chen Jung-chi and Chen Hung-yi, all of whom were on hand for the unveiling of the report.

Huang Huang-hsiung acknowledged the contributions made by the Taipei and Taichung Veterans General Hospitals. He noted that Chen Shui-bian’s health situation continues to worsen despite heightened monitoring and attention. He explained that after Chen was moved from Taipei VGH to Taichung Prison Hospital he suffered new problems such as falling, severe coughing attacks and bedwetting. Huang said that according to Article 58 of the Penal Code the government should carefully consider whether Chen should be granted a medical parole in order to receive proper treatment.

Huang told reporters that he wanted to present his report on Chen’s medical condition and human rights before he retires from the Control Yuan. He admitted that during the eight years Chen Shui-bian was in office he had never been to his residence. Now that the former president is in prison, however, he makes regular trips to check on his condition, a duty he said was "not connected to feelings for the party."

Ko Wen-je also lamented that he had not been a member of Chen’s medical team while he was president. After the former president was arrested, however, Ko moved quickly to put together a medical team to monitor his condition and ensure that his human rights were adequately protected. He pointed out that everyone on the team considers Chen to be ailing and that he should be allowed to go home. And by that, he emphasized, he meant that Chen should "really go home, and not come out to engage in politics, because his mind has deteriorated and he should not be exploited."

Asked if Chen’s life could be in danger if his medical condition continues to decline, Ko said Chen’s neurological condition continues to deteriorate, the falls he has suffered have resulted in head trauma. In that regard, there are usually people on hand to keep him from falling, so that concern is minimized, Other problems are the dangers of choking and of catching pneumonia. Ko added that if Chen were to die from illness or injury while being confined it could lead to serious social unrest.

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