Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday called on the US Department of State and Washington-based non-governmental organization Freedom House to keep an eye on the license renewal application of CtiTV News to prevent Taiwan’s freedom of the press being suppressed.
The TV station’s license is to expire in December, and the National Communications Commission (NCC) is on Monday next week to hold a public hearing on its license renewal application.
CtiTV is perceived as sympathetic to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which on Thursday accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government of trying to shut down the channel, citing documents leaked from the Presidential Office in May that instructed DPP-leaning NCC members to tackle the CtiTV issue.
Photo: Yang Mien-chieh, Taipei Times
If the government does not renew CtiTV News’ license, it would deal a blow to the freedom of speech and the nation’s democracy, Ma wrote on Facebook.
After he was elected president in March 2008, then-US president George W. Bush said in a congratulatory note that Taiwan is the lighthouse of democracy in Asia and the world, Ma wrote.
However, since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May 2016, the nation has embarked on a road further away from democracy and freedom, he wrote.
The Tsai administration has turned many agencies, including the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee, the Transitional Justice Commission, the Central Election Commission and the Mainland Affairs Council, into political instruments, he wrote.
The Anti-infiltration Act (反滲透法), promulgated in January, is also an “abominable” bill for creating “green” terror, he wrote.
Ma also urged the US and other foreign friends to closely follow CtiTV News’ license renewal process.
DPP Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said that Ma, while he was president, was suspected of intervening in the NCC’s review proceedings.
Six years ago, more than half of the NCC’s external consultants did not agree with CtiTV News’ license renewal, but the station still got its license, he said.
The NCC’s independence should be respected by different parties, Chao said.
New Power Party Legislator Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said that when approving the news channel’s license six years ago, the NCC introduced additional conditions requiring it to improve outside reviews and the operation of its ethics committee.
However, CtiTV failed to fulfill the requirements, to which the NCC did not react, he said, adding that the channel’s application deserves serious review.
Additional reporting by Huang Hsin-po and CNA
‘HUMILIATING’: Aletheia University students called on the school to apologize for limiting former professor Chang Liang-tse’s access to its Taiwan literature archive The Aletheia University Student Association yesterday called on the university to apologize to retired professor Chang Liang-tse (張良澤) after it prevented him from accessing the Taiwanese literature archive at its Tainan campus by changing the lock on the building. Last month, the university changed the lock on the building without warning, barring Chang’s access to the archive that he had “singlehandedly established,” Chung Yen-wei (鍾延威), the son of the late writer Chung Chao-cheng (鍾肇政), wrote on Facebook on Friday. The university in 1997 created the first department of Taiwanese literature in the nation, and Chang, now 82, was the department’s first-ever chairman,
ALLEVIATING FEARS: The CECC would only announce public places where it is difficult to identify everyone there at the same time as the couple, minister Chen said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced six places where two locally infected COVID-19 cases had visited between Thursday last week and Sunday, urging people who had been at the places at the same time to monitor their health. The couple, cases 838, a doctor, and 839, his nurse girlfriend, were reported by the center on Tuesday. The doctor had treated a patient with COVID-19 last week before he began suffering symptoms on Friday, while the nurse began suffering symptoms on Saturday. They work in the same hospital in northern Taiwan, but the nurse had not worked with COVID-19 patients, so
SECOND RULING: Israeli-American Oren Shlomo Mayer refused to sign a court transcript, complained about the court translator and said the trial had been unfair The High Court yesterday upheld New Taipei City District Court’s verdicts on four men convicted last year in connection with the 2018 murder and dismemberment of a Canadian citizen on the banks of the Sindian River (新店溪). It found American-Israeli Oren Shlomo Mayer and American Ewart Odane Bent guilty of homicide and the abandonment and destruction of a corpse, with Mayer sentenced to life in prison and Bent given a term of 12 years and six months, for the death of Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan, whose body parts were found in a riverside park under Zhongzheng Bridge in New Taipei’s Yonghe
A lawyer and a prosecutor yesterday castigated what they called a lenient ruling by the High Court on Luo Wen-shan (羅文山), whose prison sentence was reduced to two years, which he does not need to serve, after he was convicted for receiving illegal political donations from China to meddle in Taiwan’s elections. Investigators found that Luo, who retired from the army with the rank of lieutenant general, had accepted NT$8.38 million (US$294,604 at the current exchange rate) under the guise of political contributions from Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference member Xu Zhiming (許智明) and people in Hong Kong from 2008 to