Investigation Report of Textbook Controversy Says Reporters Were Arrested According to Law

Investigation Report of Textbook Controversy Says Reporters Were Arrested According to Law
Photo Credit: Erin Ting-yi Chen

What you need to know

The three reporters that were arrested held a press conference in front of Taipei City Hall this morning and say the investigation report fails to clarify key points of their arrest. They also say reflection and advice of the city government are too empty and merely play around with words.

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On September 7, the Taipei City Government announced the preliminary investigation report of the textbook controversy. The police say three reporters entered the Ministry of Education on July 23 and were arrested according to law. The report reviews the matter and discusses how it should balance freedom of the press.

On July 23, students and civilians against the curriculum adjustments broke into the Ministry of Education. The police arrived at the scene and took 33 people back to the station for questioning, including three reporters.

The police arrested the reporters according to law, but the review should take into account freedom of the press

UDN reports, according to the draft of the investigation report, the police states the reporters entered the building of the Ministry of Education late at night and already violated regulations relating to the invasion of buildings. The form of entry was illegal and did not get consent from the ministry. The police arrested people after the ministry made clear it would press charges and was not an arrest without legal basis.

The police points out in a report, the reporters at the scene did not receive permission from the ministry throughout the entire event and did not state their identities as reporters to the guards after entering the building. Officials of the ministry made it clear twice that they would press charges against any late night intruders and after reporting to the prosecutor, the police didn’t have a reason not to detain the reporters.

Radio Taiwan International reports, the report reviewing the matter states in order to ensure freedom of the press, it is necessary to discuss how to balance the investigation of criminal cases and freedom of the press when there are reporters at the scene of crime.

The report also points out there is space for improvement regarding how the police of the case informed responsible authorities and established a communication platform.

The three arrested reporters say the investigation report is like a writing competition

CNA reports, the three reporters that were arrested held a press conference in front of Taipei City Hall this morning and say the investigation report is like a writing competition. Other than failing to clarify key points of their arrest, reflection and advice of the city government are also too empty and merely play around with words.

The three reporters say that the Legislative Yuan was invaded by civilians last year and the K-12 Education Administration building was broken into this year, but why weren’t the reporters that entered both buildings arrested? Looking back on the anti-curriculum protest when the reporters repeatedly stated their identity to the police, where is the line for getting arrested drawn?

The reporters emphasize that they are disappointed with the investigation report and requests the city government and the police to clarify doubtful points.

China Times reports, the investigation was initiated by Taipei Mayor Ke Wen-zhe and convened by Deputy Mayor Deng Jia-ji. The investigation report has only completed its first draft but Ke ordered the publishing of it online in hope improvements can be made in the follow-up review of the government.

Deng says all three seminars conducted by the investigation team were recorded and transcribed. All participants of the seminars were also free to speak their thoughts. The deputy mayor emphasizes that the criminal law suit has already entered the judicial procedure and based on respect for the administration of justice and the principle of secret investigation it is not included in the government’s analysis.

Translated by Olivia Yang

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