P全球Interview with Human Rights Lawyer Liu Chi-Wei

Article / Photo by: Hsiu-Chuan Lin

Liu Chi-Wei, a rather young looking lawyer, has been working pro bono for many big cases such as the National Alliance for Workers of Closed Factories, Hung Chung-Chiu’s death, the Dapu incident (force eviction, land grabbing, and police violence issues), and the ongoing student occupation of Legislative Yuan. For the past week, he has been giving talks on stage and standing by on site in case of emergency.



He was interviewed in front of Chun-Hsien Building of the Legislative Yuan when asked about the possible influence of the trade pact on human rights in Taiwan. “Where should I begin?” he mused. He thought about it for a while before he spoke again. “Let’s not start by imagining what will happen if the trade pact passes. Let’s look at what has been happening.”

The protesters are trying their best to maintain a peaceful protest, Liu said, but the mudslinging pro-China media are also trying their best to depict the protest as a violent chaos, rather than reporting on the protesters’ appeal or the controversy surrounding legislative review process of the service trade agreement. The protest is critical to the development of democracy in Taiwan, especially for the younger generation. Mudslinging is undoubtedly a setback to the cultivation of awareness in citizenship.Thus it’s easy to imagine what will happen to the media when Chinese capital comes in if the trade pact passes.

Accessibility of information will be controlled by Chinese telecommunication service providers. These companies will hinder the freedom of information “in order to follow the regulations back in China and to cut the cost of developing a new system.” We won’t be able to access Facebook or look up “sensitive” keywords in search engines .

Gradually, people will get used to the lack of information.

As to the awareness of citizenship and social movement, Liu thinks that most of the Taiwanese people still regards these social movements an inconvenience to society, which would only bring disturbances such as traffic jam or noise pollution. This ongoing protest is an opportunity for young people who has not witnessed the Wild Lily Student Movement or earlier student movements with their own eyes to understand that voice of the people can make a difference in the government.

This is why we must win. This is why we must achieve concrete results in this protest. Because this is the only chance for us to ignite the faith in democracy with this younger generation.








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