05/13/2009, 00.00
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Former President Chen on hunger strike for the third time

Chen is protesting the extension of his detention, now five-month old. Court yesterday confirmed two more months in prison for the former president. However, a growing number of people, including independents, believe the reasons for the ruling are not the official ones.

Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian is back in prison after three days in hospital for dehydration following his decision on 7 May to go on a hunger strike for the third time to protest against a recent ruling to continue to holding him in prison.

Yesterday the Taipei District Court ruled he should remain in prison for two more months, citing fears he might collude with witnesses or abscond.

Chen (pictured being hospitalised) was arrested in December on corruption and other felonies he is alleged to have committed during his presidency.

The former leader has already rejected the accusation saying they are politically motivated. 

“I have discussed this case with lawyers, and we can't find any legal reason to continue to detain him, except for political reasons,” DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said.

DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang said the court has kept Chen detained for five months as “punishment detention” to humiliate him and his supporters.

Other pro-independence Taiwanese, who are also critical of the long detention that deprives Chen of his rights, agree.

The DPP is planning a rally for next Monday night to protest against President Ma Ying-jeou, accusing him of human rights violation, of failing to tackle the economic crisis and of giving up on Taiwanese sovereignty to improve relations with the mainland

The pro-independence party expects tens of thousand of people, including many non-party members.

It has also said that it was not going to apply for a permit, arguing that it wanted to test how democratic the government was.

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See also
Opposition in Taipei to submit recall motion to oust president
Chen’s sentence cut from life to 20 years
Trial of former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian opens
Opposition trying to oust Chen Shui-bian again
High Court calls on lower court to reconsider release of ex President Chen Shui-bian


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