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"Taiwan Next" magazine attacked

(CPJ/IFEX) - In a 23 August 2001 letter to President Chen Shui-bian, CPJ condemned the recent attack on the office of the magazine "Taiwan Next" ("Taiwan Yi Zhoukan"), and asked his government to ensure that the police investigation into the attack is thorough and professional.

Around midday on 22 August, a group of men wielding baseball bats charged into the downtown Taipei offices of "Taiwan Next", a popular tabloid-style news magazine, and smashed windows, computers, and office furniture. No one was injured in the attack.

"The violence was apparently a warning to Next Media Ltd.," said a police officer quoted by the Agence France-Presse news agency. Next Media, the company that publishes "Taiwan Next", is owned by Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai.

Though it has only been publishing for about three months, "Taiwan Next" has developed a reputation for exposing scandals involving politicians, celebrities, and criminals. Pei Wei, the magazine's editor-in-chief, told reporters that while staffers had received many threatening phone calls in the past as a result of such coverage, "we have no idea who did this."

Recommended Action

Send appeals to the president:
- expressing alarm at this criminal attack on "Taiwan Next"
- noting that the authorities must ensure that those responsible for the attack are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, thereby sending a clear message that attacks against the press will not be tolerated
- asking to be informed about the status of the police investigation into this case

Appeals To

His Excellency Chen Shui-bian
President, Republic of China
Office of the President
122 Chung-King South Road-Section 1
Taipei, Taiwan
Republic of China
Fax: +886 2 2311 1604

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

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