Taipei Times: NTU, students debate the scope of freedom of speech

A debate over the scope of freedom of speech arose yesterday between National Taiwan University (NTU) and its students’ association after one of the institution’s professors was summoned by police after criticizing an unverified government policy.

“The university expresses serious concerns over the infringement of freedom of speech in this case and calls on the authorities to observe Article 11 of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech,” NTU said in a statement.

The NTU Students’ Association said in its own statement that “it does not stand by the university.”

Su Hung-dah (蘇宏達), a professor of political science, was summoned by the Taipei City Police Department for allegedly contravening the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法) due to a video he uploaded to Facebook in November last year, the university said in its statement.

In the video, Su said that former National Palace Museum director Chen Chi-nan (陳其南) collaborated with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on a three-staged policy to move the museum’s collection.

“The policy is part of the DPP’s ‘cultural revolution’ to exterminate the museum, because the museum shows how strong the ties are between Chinese culture and Taiwan,” Su said in the video.

The students’ association said that freedom of speech should not mean people are entitled to say whatever they please and urged NTU to seek legal advice before making public statements.

Su’s unfounded comments, which fragmented and misled people, might fall outside the scope of free speech, the association said.

On Tuesday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokeswoman Wang Hung-wei (王鴻薇) said that the party would give Su its full support and called on people to share his video to defend his rights.

The anti-infiltration bill puts us back in the Martial Law era and President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has gone to such great lengths to stifle freedom of speech before it has even been passed, Wang told a news conference in Taipei prior to the passage of the Anti-infiltration Act (反滲透法) on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau yesterday said in a news release that it combats all false news reports, with everyday topics and national security issues both making up large parts of the material it analyzes.

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