Date
20 August 2017
The three-week occupation of Taiwan's parliament successfully blocked a controversial trade services pact with the mainland. Photo: Bloomberg
The three-week occupation of Taiwan's parliament successfully blocked a controversial trade services pact with the mainland. Photo: Bloomberg

Taiwan to indict Sunflower Movement student leaders

“I will calmly and bravely face and bear the consequences [of my actions].”

Thus said Taiwanese student leader Lin Fei-fan in a statement posted on his Facebook page after officials decided to file charges against leaders of the anti-China protest that rocked the island for weeks last spring.

Lin and 21 other people were named on Tuesday in a lawsuit by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office for offences committed during the three-week occupation of Taiwan’s parliament, which successfully blocked a controversial trade services pact with the mainland, Reuters reported.

They are facing charges of agitating the public and attacking police, said officials who may seek imprisonment terms for the accused.

“We’ve submitted the suit to judges and are awaiting word from them on how to proceed,” said head prosecutor Chang Chieh-Chin.

The protests, nicknamed the Sunflower Movement, were the largest display of anti-China sentiment the island had seen in years.

Students in the largely peaceful sit-in had demanded more transparency in pacts negotiated with China, Taiwan’s largest trading partner.

They had expressed anxiety over China’s growing economic and political influence on the vibrantly democratic island, but stepped down after a concession by lawmakers to pass a uniform supervisory bill over all trade pacts with the mainland.

Under Taiwan’s China-friendly president Ma Ying-jeou, the two sides have signed a slew of agreements on everything from finance to tourism.

The controversial Trade in Services Agreement, as the bill in question is known, remains deadlocked in Taiwan’s legislature.

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CG

Taiwanese student leader Lin Fei-fan is among the 22 people facing charges of agitating the public and attacking police. Photo: Bloomberg


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