Free speech still faces threats: minister

REPRESSION:Taiwanese still face restrictions on freedom of expression, especially from China’s limitations on political and economic activities, Yeh Jiunn-rong said

Taipei Times
Date: Apr 03, 2017
By: Chen Yu-fu and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writer

Censorship from China, cyberbullying and the so-called “digital divide” are the biggest

Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong answers questions during a session of the Internal Administration Committee at the Legislative Yuan on March 13. Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

challenges confronting freedom of speech in Taiwan, Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) said.

Yeh made the remarks in a recent interview with the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) ahead of the nation’s first-ever Freedom of Speech Day on Friday. The ministry last year declared the event would be observed every year on April 7.

Citing US rights watchdog Freedom House’s “Freedom in the World” report for this year that gave Taiwan the highest possible scores for political rights and civil liberties — the nation’s best showings since 2006 — Yeh said Taiwan had made great strides in its transformation from an authoritarian society that habitually censored free speech to a liberal democracy.

However, infringements still persist, especially with regards to China’s censorship of Taiwanese freedom of expression in the political and economic spheres, Yeh said.

In addition, online bullying, the spread of fake news and the digital divide also pose challenges to the nation’s freedom of speech, he said.    [FULL  STORY]

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