Libel charges can lead to 2 years imprisonment
A leading Taiwan CWI (International Socialist Forward) comrade, Hsu Wei-Yu, is being threatened with libel action by CTi, a large media corporation with links to the Chinese dictatorship (CCP). Under Taiwanese law, this carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail. Please send protest messages and solidarity with comrade Hsu.
The expansion of right-wing, nationalistic, pro-CCP media outlets in Taiwan, which wield a growing influence on the island’s politics, has become a big issue, with strong opposition from workers and youth who oppose the Chinese dictatorship’s increasingly belligerent claims on Taiwan. For example pro-CCP media denounced the strike of 2,000 women workers at Eva Air and supported the strike-breaking bosses.
On 26 June, 200,000 Taiwanese marched against ‘red media’ in a protest organised by pro-independence parties and groups. CWI comrades intervened in this mass protest with our material opposing all corporate media, opposing all capitalist governments – China, Taiwan, US, etc. – and calling for democratic public ownership and control of mass media and broadcasting. Please sign, send and share the solidarity statement below:
- Solidarity with Hsu Wei-Yu!
- Defend freedom of speech!
Hsu Wei-Yu, the spokesman of ISF (International Socialist Forward, CWI in Taiwan) has been accused of “criminal offence against reputation” [libel] by a pro-CCP media company, CTi, in Taiwan. This was after ISF held a protest against the CTi to show solidarity with the mass anti-authoritarian struggle in Hong Kong and also to refute the false accusations CTi made against the EVA Air workers’ strike.
At that protest, ISF severely criticised this company, opposing the CCP’s dictatorship, supporting democratic rights in Hong Kong, opposing big business policies and fighting for workers’ interests.
In recent years, pro-CCP media corporations like CTi have been scolded, hated, detested by growing sections of the public. It is revealed in publicly available records that the owner and top managers of this corporation have close links with the CCP regime in China.
Hundreds of thousands of people joined a rally in Taipei against pro-CCP media on June 26. Our own protest echoed the voice of youth and grassroots workers.
The current accusation against Hsu has shown that even in “democratic” Taiwan, freedom of speech doesn’t apply to grassroots working people but only to the owners of corporate media who oppress critical voices by intimidation.
The political persecution of Hsu is not a personal affair, but the first step of an attack against the whole movement opposing pro-CCP media. The conviction of Hsu would be a threat to the movement. Therefore, we appeal to all organisations and individuals who defend the right to free speech and oppose pro-CCP media for solidarity with Hsu and to condemn the accusations against him. At the same time, we need to put pressure on the prosecutors in charge of this case, demanding they drop the prosecution of an activist who fights for freedom of speech and political freedom.
Please send protest email to Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office
Model protest letter
To Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office,
I have learned that a Taiwan citizen Hsu Wei-Yu faces a criminal accusation due to taking part in a protest against a pro-CCP media. I think this protest, which exposed the falsehoods spread by CTi and its connection with the CCP regime in China, was in accordance with freedom of assembly, freedom speech and freedom of political association, and in defence of the right to information in the public interest. Therefore, I believe this protest does not constitute “criminal offence against reputation”. I therefore demand that the Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office does not prosecute Hsu Wei-Yu.