Against the Demolition of Losheng Sanatorium in Taiwan!
March 22, 2007
This is Em from Taiwan, I am recently working on a campaign to help out the leprosy patients in Taiwan.
As such a subject that never gets anybody’s attention. I am asking the anarchist/activist/punks worldwide to help!! (The reason i am passing this here is becuase the government and the media here in taiwan is trying to shut us down, this is emergent, so please, we all really appreciated for any help!)
Because of the Police brutality in the recent protest, and their bulletin about entering the place in 2 weeks we are in urge for help from worldwide, who cares about social changes and thinking politically/anarchy – Leprosy patients had been treated injustice since the 19th century, and nowadays they still face different struggle, hence, we can no longer ignore this human rights violation in taiwan. Please read the flyer for more infos.
It could really change some people’s life, so please dont hesitate for this, but also encourage your friends to do the same. everybody can do something, in solidarity we can do everything!! hope you can help us on this!!!
in solidarity, Em
Clashes erupt over leprosarium
By Loa Iok-sin and Shih Hsiu-chuan, STAFF REPORTERS
Mar 17, 2007
PETITION: A group called on legislators to pass a stalled statute that would detail the government’s responsibility to provide for people with leprosy
A new deadline for the eviction of residents at Lo Sheng (Happy Life) Sanatorium, a leprosarium in Taipei County, sparked physical clashes between police officers and protesters yesterday.
The Taipei County Government has decided to give residents at the sanatorium until April 16 to move out.
Physical clashes broke out when protesters attempted to prevent the police from posting a notice announcing the new deadline yesterday.
Three protesters were arrested.
The Lo Sheng Sanatorium was built in 1929 to house leprosy patients. Leprosy was at the time believed to be easily contagious and incurable, and patients were therefore quarantined for life.
Free movement for sufferers of leprosy has only been allowed since the 1950s.
In order to build a maintenance facility for the MRT system, government authorities have decided to move residents at the sanatorium to a newly built home nearby and demolish most of the buildings at Lo Sheng.
The decision has met with opposition from some Lo Sheng residents, leprosy rights activists and preservationists.
“Save Lo Sheng. It’s not just about saving historic buildings … it’s also about respecting the basic human rights of a group of disadvantaged people,” the Youth Alliance for Lo Sheng said in a press release.
Tuesday was the original deadline for eviction.
But after demonstrations in front of Premier Su Tseng-chang’s residence focused public attention on the issue the Taipei County Government decided to postpone the deadline until April 16th.
Around 40 protesters, including human-rights activists, students, residents of Lo Sheng and their families, blocked the main gate as hundreds of police officers approached the facility this morning, said Lai Che-chun, a representative of the International Association for Integration Dignity and Economic Advancement (IDEA), who participated in the protests.
IDEA is an international organization protecting the rights of leprosy sufferers.
“The police couldn’t get in through the main gate, so they sneaked through a back gate to post the mandatory eviction notice on the bulletin board,” Lai said.
“They’re like thieves! Only thieves go through backdoors!” A Lo Sheng resident cried.
Another clash broke out as protesters tore down the posted notice.
“We tore down the notice and when the police saw that, the SWAT team moved in and arrested people,” said Soda Masoto, a Japanese student pursuing his doctorate in Taiwan.
Three protesters were arrested and one passed out during the clash, Lai said
Meanwhile, a group of leprosy patients yesterday presented a petition to the Legislative Yuan calling on lawmakers to speed up the passage of a statute providing for their needs.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Kuo Su-chun received their petition on behalf of his party.
“Premier Su says the statute is stalled in the legislature. We want legislators to pass it as soon as possible,” said Chan Ming-chou , a member of the Hansen’s Patients Human Rights Violation Investigation Committee.
The self-help group, organized with the goal of preserving Lo Sheng Sanatorium, demanded that legislators make preserving the leprosarium one of the articles of the statute.
The current version of the statue only discusses compensation for the patients.
Legislators are divided over the statute, which aims at detailing measures that must be taken to compensate for the suffering of leprosy patients.
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