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DPP discusses ex-President Chen Shui-bian
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-09 04:02 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The opposition Democratic Progressive Party’s Central Executive Committee discussed efforts Wednesday to obtain medical parole for former President Chen Shui-bian.

Chen is serving a 20-year sentence for corruption at the Taichung Prison hospital because of his poor health, but the campaign for medical parole has gained new impetus recently with a call of support from 21 members of the prestigious Academia Sinica.

At its regular meeting Wednesday afternoon, the CEC heard a proposal from the party’s legislative chief whip Ker Chien-ming to campaign for Chen.

On his way to the meeting, former Premier Yu Shyi-kun told reporters that the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou was trampling on Chen’s judicial and medical human rights. In addition, his deteriorating condition required that he be surrounded by a positive home environment. Now that even scholars from the Academia Sinica had made similar demands, the Ma Administration should listen to public opinion and let his predecessor convalesce at home, Yu said.

The former premier compared the situation to some Central American countries, where past presidents would have their rivals and predecessors locked up. Ma should show more magnanimity and order Chen to be released, Yu said.

As Ker arrived for the CEC meeting, he was not willing to reply to reporters’ questions about concrete plans of action to obtain the ex-president’s release.

Past campaigns in favor of medical parole have been rejected by the Ma Administration, with the Ministry of Justice claiming Chen was not eligible.

The 21 Academia Sinica members called against political interference, saying that care for the patient should prevail over purely party-political considerations. They quoted reports from doctors saying Chen needed 24-hour medical supervision or he would be in danger of asphyxiation during bouts of shaking and swallowing difficulties.

The Tri-Service General Hospital, where the ex-president spent a time for tests and for close observation, recommended recuperation and treatment at home, but the government repeatedly rejected the request.

One of the initial top campaigners for medical parole for Chen was National Taiwan University Hospital’s top trauma expert, Ko Wen-je, who is now the opposition candidate for mayor of Taipei City.

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