Sunflower Activists Not Guilty; Taiwanese Activist’s Wife; Taiwan Detains Chinese Fishermen

Sunflower Remembrance - Students cheer during a gathering to mark the first anniversary of the protest-movement occupation of the legislature

Sunflower Movement Activists Found Not Guilty

On Friday, March 31, a group of 22 Taiwanese political leaders and activists were found not guilty of all charges related to the occupation of the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s Parliament, on March 18, 2014. The 22 activists included Sunflower Movement protest leaders Lin Fei-fan, Chen Wei-ting, and Huang Kuo-chang – Huang is now a legislator and is the leader of the New Power Party. Cases related to the March 24, 2014, attempted occupation of the Executive Yuan and the April 11, 2014, demonstration surrounding a local police station are ongoing. New Bloom editor Brian Hioe notes that many demands of the Sunflower Movement have not been met.

Taiwanese Activist’s Wife to Fly to Beijing to Seek Release

The wife of a Taiwanese NGO worker and human rights activist detained in China says she will travel to Beijing to seek the release of her husband and has called on the international community for assistance. Lee Ming-cheh, 42, is being held in China by a branch of the state security police. He was reported missing after flying from Taipei to Macau on March 19. His wife, Lee Ching-yu, told reporters in Taipei on Friday, March 31, that her husband has a higher chance of being released if more international attention is given to his case. Lee is a former secretary for Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) executive in Taoyuan. He is an NGO worker who has frequent contact with human rights lawyers in China. He works at the Taipei Wenshan District Community College.

Taiwan Detains Chinese Fishermen

A Chinese fishing boat and its crew were detained by Taiwan’s coastguard on Thursday, March 23. They had been fishing near Dongsha or Pratas Islands, in the South China Sea. The area, which is about 500 kilometres from southwest of Taiwan and 350 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong, is controlled by Taiwan though it is part of China’s disputed territorial claims. Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported that the 19 crew members and the captain were taken to Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, for questioning.  

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