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REGIONS:

Criminal libel suit filed against two journalists



(CPJ/IFEX) - On 7 November 1996, Lui Tai-ying, director of the
Business Management Committee of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang
party, filed a criminal libel suit against Ying Chan, an American
journalist for the "Daily News" of New York, and Hsieh
Chung-liang, senior editor of "Yazhou Zhoukan" ("Asia Weekly"), a
Hong Kong-based newsweekly. Also named in the libel suit is the
chief source for the story, Chen Chao-ping, a Taiwanese business
consultant.




The lawsuit is in regard to an article published in the October
25 edition of "Yazhou Zhoukan" in which it was alleged that,
during an August 1995 meeting with former White House staffer
Mark Middleton, Lui had offered to donate US$ 15,000,000 to the
Democratic National Committee for U.S. President Bill Clinton's
re-election campaign. Lui's decision to sue the reporters has
been defended by senior members of the Kuomintang. If convicted,
Ying and Hsieh face up to two years in jail.

Recommended Action


Send appeals to authorities:
  • denouncing the use of seditious libel suits such as that filed
    by Lui Tai-ying because they serve to silence critical coverage
    of government actions
  • indicating that this lawsuit constitutes a clear violation of
    the right to "seek, receive, and impart information and ideas
    through any media regardless of frontiers," guaranteed by Article
    19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United
    Nations (indicating that, although the Taiwanese government is
    not currently represented within the United Nations, Taiwan
    signaled its willingness to abide by Article 19 in seeking
    readmission to the General Assembly)
  • urging that that they openly dissociate themselves from Lui's
    libel suit, and ensure that neither Taiwanese government nor
    Kuomintang resources be used to further the suit
  • urging them to guarantee the protection of journalists' sources
    and the media's right to practise their profession freely and safely




    Appeals To



    His Excellency Lee Teng-hui
    President
    Office of the President
    Chungching South Road
    Taipei, Taiwan






    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.


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