Taiwanese Girl to Spend Father's Day Trying to Free Dad
Chung Ting-pang, a Taiwanese businessman and pracitioner of the Falun Gong meditation discipline, has been detained in China for the past 50 days. Falun Gong is severely persecuted in China. This week, as China’s top Taiwanese relations official, Chen Yunlin, visits the island, Chung’s supporters are pressing for his release.
On Tuesday, hundreds of people gathered near Taiwan’s Presidential Office. They set up make-shift cells in solidarity with Chung.
[Neil Peng, Veteran Journalist, Author] (male, Chinese)
“We are supporting Mr. Chung here. This is a matter of human rights in Taiwan, so we hope [President] Ma Ying-jeou can stand up and speak out for Taiwan, don’t be so afraid of the Chinese Communist Party.”
For Chung's daughter, Alice, this is the third time her family has appealed directly to Taiwan’s president. This week is particularly hard for her, as she faces Father's Day on Wednesday without her dad.
[Alice Chung, Daughter of Detained Taiwanese Citizen]:
“This is a difficult Father’s Day, but my family will make it through. I hope the government hears us, this is the third time we’ve come to the Presidential Office.”
Chinese authorities placed Chung under “residential surveillance” in Jiangxi province in June after he visited family there. He’s been accused of endangering state security for attempting to disrupt satellite signals. On Sunday, state-run Xinhua News agency reported that Chung has been “relatively cooperative” in admitting his guilt.
Chung’s supporters have rejected Xinhua’s report, saying he has not been able to speak with a lawyer or family members. Chung’s whereabouts is also unknown.
[Yung-Cheng Kao, Taiwanese Lawyer]:
“Until they can guarantee a fair due process, I do not believe anything about his confession because I don’t think it’s done under his free will.”
Chung’s supporters has planned a series of events this week, as Chinese and Taiwanese officials gear up to sign an agreement that’s meant to guarantee protection of Taiwanese investors in Mainland China.