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TAIWAN: The UN International Day of Charity and the Tai Ji Men Case

The UN International Day of Charity and the Tai Ji Men Case

HRWF (05.09.2022) – The International Day of Charity is observed annually on the 5th of September. It was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. This date was chosen in order to commemorate the death anniversary of Mother Teresa, who had always been engaged all her life in charitable work.

The primary purpose of the International Day of Charity is to raise awareness and provide a common platform for charity related activities all over the world.

Mother Teresa (1910–1997) was a Roman Catholic nun who devoted her life to serving the poor and destitute around the world.

She was born in 1910 in Skopje, now the capital of the Republic of North Macedonia in Central Europe but then a part of the Ottoman Empire. Little is known about her early life, but at a young age, she felt a calling to be a nun and serve through helping the poor. At the age of 18, she was given permission to join a group of nuns in Ireland. After a few months of training, she was given permission to travel to India.

On her arrival in India, she began by working as a teacher; however, the widespread poverty of Calcutta made a deep impression on her, and this led to her starting a new order called “The Missionaries of Charity”. The primary objective of this mission was to look after people in great need, who nobody else was prepared to take care of. Mother Teresa felt that serving others was a fundamental principle of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

In her book “No Greater Love”, she wrote:

“It is not how much we do,
but how much love we put in the doing.
It is not how much we give,
but how much love we put in the giving.”

and also:

“Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service .”

In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace” and she became a symbol of charitable and selfless work. After her death, Pope John Paul II began her process of beatification, which took place in October 2003, and in 2016 she was formally canonized as Saint Teresa.

Spreading a message of peace and love does not mean that you will be appreciated and supported by everybody. Love that breaks down the walls between human beings always disturbs the established order and threatens vested interests. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, two champions of love and non-violence, were assassinated. Mother Teresa did not die a violent death but she was regularly attacked by Hindu extremists who accused her of converting Hindu citizens under the guise of charitable work, medical assistance and school education.

Charity has always been a core activity of the Catholic Church and Mother Teresa has never sought to instrumentalize it to convert Hindus. Despite these internal ethical standards, a rising anti-Catholic and anti-Mother Teresa wave has been gaining momentum since the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party BJP in 2014, and his subsequent reelection in 2019.

In the last few years, an increasing number of states in India have introduced laws that restrict conversion. The result of this is that the boundaries of faith have increasingly become the interest of the state.

At the end of December of last year, the Indian government blocked Mother Teresa’s charity from receiving funds from abroad, just days after it faced a police investigation for allegedly “hurting religious sentiments of Hindus” amid rising intolerance towards Christians in general in India.

The ban came less than two weeks after Hindu hardliners accused the charity of carrying out forced conversions of Hindus to Christianity in a home for girls it was running in the state of Gujarat.

A police report said “The girls inside the Home for Girls are being lured to adopt Christianity by making them wear the cross around their neck and also placing the Bible on the table of the storeroom used by the girls, in order to compel them to read the Bible … It is an attempted crime to force religious conversion upon the girls.”

Christian pastors have been attacked and church services violently disrupted in recent months as anti-Christian hysteria has grown. Over last Christmas there was an unprecedented spate of attacks against the Christian community, including the vandalising of a statue of Jesus Christ.

Charity can be a dangerous activity when it is carried out by a religious minority of foreign origin in an exacerbated nationalistic context.

Charity can disturb the established order and lead to all sorts of attacks. Trying to kill a movement financially is one of the means used by public powers, politicians and various people having vested interests as we have just seen with the ban of foreign funding for Mother Teresa’s charity. The Catholic Church is known to be a majority religion in many countries but it is a minority religion in India and Prime Minister Modi and Hindu extremists do not like it.

Another financial weapon against unwelcome religious or spiritual groups is the abusive taxation.

In the Indian state of Kerala, Catholic religious congregations are still challenging a state court’s order which years ago withdrew tax exemption that religious priests and nuns had been enjoying since 1944 for their commitment to the education of Indian children of all faiths. The Catholic educational staff has indeed taken a vow of poverty and does not take any salary for teaching in government-sponsored educational institutions. But the court in that Indian state has refused to accept their argument of volunteering that is beneficial to the Indian youth in all its diversity. The case there is now examined by the Supreme Court but other states are planning to take similar taxation measures.

In Taiwan, Tai Ji Men has developed a wide range of charity activities. Tens of thousands of dizi have been volunteering for several decades to make the world better and more humane with their message of love and peace transformed into concrete charity actions. But charity is not welcome either by everybody in Taiwan. For 25 years, Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen has been trying to destroy the Tai Ji Men movement because of personal financial interests and because he is career-driven.

In 2002, the Control Yuan, the nation’s top watchdog body, investigated the management of the Tai Ji Men case by Prosecutor Hou, accused him of abuse of authority and referred his case to the Justice Ministry for sanctions.

According to the Control Yuan’s report, Hou was guilty of

  • Initiating an investigation based on fabricated charges
  • Violating the principle of confidentiality during the investigation
  • Interrogating the defendants without prior notice to their attorneys as required by law
  • Treating the defendants improperly and rudely when interrogating them
  • Freezing the defendants’ assets without any evidence of illegal gains
  • Overstepping his authority by issuing letters on his own, requesting the dissolution of Tai Ji Men
  • Calling for the establishment of an association of alleged victims of Tai Ji Men, blindly siding with them and and failing to verify the credibility of their claims, hereby damaging his own image of an impartial law enforcement officer

These were very serious charges but for 25 years, this coup attempt against a charitable spiritual movement training generations of young people spending their time and their money to become good Taiwanese citizens and make Taiwanese society more humane has remained unpunished. The fight for justice needs to go on unabated in the Tai Ji Men case.

Photo credits: TJM

 





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TAIWAN: UN International Youth Day 2022/ The Stolen Youth of Tai Ji Men

UN International Youth Day 2022/ The Stolen Youth of Tai Ji Men

 

Paper presented by HRWF at the hybrid webinar “The Stolen Youth of Tai Ji Men” in Los Angeles on 8 August

 

HRWF (08.08.2022) – This week, the UN International Youth Day will be celebrated in various ways across the world.

 

This year, the theme is intergenerational solidarity. The link between generations is extremely important because it is through the transmission of knowledge and know-how that human beings have survived over the centuries and millennia, that they have become what they are now and that humanity has become what it is in the 21st century. However, the transmission is not one-way from older people to younger people. The older generation also learns from the younger generation. I am sure that all of us, we have experienced this interaction and could give many examples. In my case, as a teacher, I have passed on a lot of things in a certain area to thousands of my students during my whole career, but they have also changed my life a lot, without most probably realising it. My lifelong commitment to religious freedom came from one of my very young students. Without her, you would not have found me and I would not have found you. Another example, my constant adaptation to new communication technologies also comes from my young interns in the office of our NGO Human Rights Without Frontiers.

 

Intergenerational solidarity is in constant interaction between generations that follow each other, partially overlap and interpenetrate each other. Older people share their personal experience gained at a certain time in a certain environment; younger people appropriate it in their new environment and build on it.

 

Legacy

 

Every generation leaves behind a legacy, with good and bad things but also with unsolved problems.

 

For 26 years now, Tai Ji Men has been persecuted by the National Tax Bureau and Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen who fabricated evidence to falsely accuse Tai Ji Men of fraud.

 

In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that Tai Ji Men was innocent of all charges and did not owe any taxes but the saga went on because the National Tax Bureau refused to fully apply the court decision and on 21 August 2020, the National Taxation Bureau, in cooperation with the Administrative Enforcement Agency, unlawfully auctioned Tai Ji Men’s land.

 

For 26 years, the taxation administration has been turning a deaf ear to outside experts and has not consulted any. It has ignored all the court rulings and even the Supreme Court. It has illegally imposed taxes and auctioned Tai Ji Men’s property instead of abiding by the highest national court, instead of apologizing and reimbursing Tai Ji Men.

 

A whole generation of dizi has lost their youth and more because of this persecution but has also been strong in the defence of the values and the honor of Tai Ji Men. Despite their obstinate fight for a quarter of a century they have reluctantly to transmit this unsolved burden to the next generation but they have also been infusing their determination to fight against injustice and human rights violations in the education of their children.

 

Another great challenge today, inherited from two centuries of unbridled industrialisation, is the rapid climate change, which threatens the survival of humankind if individual and collective behaviors are not taken into account, in practice, in all human activities. Tai Ji Men has long been involved in intergenerational solidarity for saving the planet.

 

One only has to look at the number of young people in Tai Ji Men to realise the impact of Dr Hong’s teachings on personal and collective morality and sense of responsibility.

 

Many dizi have traveled around the world with Dr Hong to participate in events and actions aiming at spreading love, peace, solidarity and humanity.

 

With such a mission in mind, Dr. Hong Tao-Tze has led the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL), the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy, and the Association of World Citizens (AWC) to hold activities such as cultural exchanges, ceremonies of ringing the Bell of World Peace and Love, and world summits to promote appreciation of and respect for different cultures, and to ignite the goodwill and kindness of all and consolidate their consensus.

 

Dr. Hong also encourages the youth to participate in international volunteering that allows them to utilize their talents and skills and contribute to society and community well-being. This is creating a culture of conscience and awareness that transcends national boundaries and immensely benefits global citizens.

 

Young people in Tai Ji Men are Dr Hong’s peaceful army for spreading peace and brotherly love among all human beings. This is the mission of the next generation of dizi, this is your mission here and now.

 

Photo credits: Nations Online Project





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TAIWAN: The Tai Men Case comes from Taiwan to Brussels-EU

The Tai Men Case comes from Taiwan to Brussels-EU

HRWF (09.05.2022) – On 4 May 2022, at the Press Club Brussels-Europe, a seminar presented to an EU and international audience the case of Tai Ji Men, discriminated against in Taiwan.

 

Tai Ji Men is a menpai (similar to school) of qigong, martial arts, and self-cultivation, and its shifu (master) and dizi (disciple) have long been committed to international cultural exchanges, spreading the concepts of love, peace, and conscience, purifying people’s hearts, and practicing world peace. It has been highly praised by Taiwanese presidents, vice presidents, and foreign ministers.

 

Since its inception in 1966, Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy has never had any tax problem; however, in 1996, it was persecuted during a political purge in the name of a religious crackdown. Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen fabricated witnesses and evidence to falsely accuse Tai Ji Men of fraud and tax evasion.

 

In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that Tai Ji Men was innocent of all charges and did not owe any taxes but the saga went on because the National Tax Bureau refused to fully apply the court decision and on 21 August 2020, the National Taxation Bureau, in cooperation with the Administrative Enforcement Agency, unlawfully auctioned Tai Ji Men’s land.

 

Conclusion of the seminar held on the day after World Press Freedom Day

 

In the first part of the event, a number of experts shared their perception of the injustice Tai Ji Men has been a victim of for 25 years.

 

In the second part, members of that movement testified about their own perception of this ordeal which has been part of their daily life for so many years.

 

“Yesterday, 3rd of May, was the World Press Freedom Day and lots of initiatives were taken everywhere to celebrate this Day. The zero press freedom in Russia to report about the invasion and the war in Ukraine shows how important it is to support bloggers, journalists and media outlets. Indeed, when freedom of expression is muzzled, there is a vacuum that a dictator can fill in with his propaganda to be accepted as THE truth, his truth.

 

Brave journalists risk their liberty and even their life to report freely and independently but there are also so-called journalists who willingly contribute to spread fake news because of monetary or ideological corruption, said Massimo Introvigne, former OSCE representative on combatting racism, xenophobia and discrimination. This is the case in the dictatorial regime of Vladimir Putin but it is also the case in democratic countries like France, Germany, Italy and even the US where peaceful and law-abiding religious and spiritual minorities have been raided by state armed forces with tragic consequences. In such countries police forces or magistrates have unofficially told media people about their unannounced upcoming crackdown on religious groups so that they send reporters and camera operators.

 

This is what also happened to Tai Ji Men in Taiwan in 1996 when Prosecutor Hou Kuan-Jen perpetuated this illegal practice. As a result, Tai Ji Men, its leaders and its members were demonized by media people whose biased shocking story-telling was just meant to increase the sale of their newspapers but indirectly they also served the interests of the State which wanted to stigmatize Tai Ji Men and find some sort of public justification of its operation.

 

As a conclusion of his presentation, Massimo Introvigne said “As we celebrate the World Press Freedom Day, we should tell journalists that we are here to defend their freedom, but we cannot defend them against their own personal corruption.”

 

Marco Respinti paid a vibrant tribute to US Senator Orrin Hatch who passed away two weeks ago at the age of 88. His two main interests were the fight for religious liberty and against abuses of the tax administration targeting religious and spiritual movements. Senator Hatch was well aware that leaks from state officials to the media did not happen by coincidence but were an attempt by some tax bureaucrats to damage certain movements for ideological or political reasons. He reminded the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that nobody, even a powerful tax agency, is above the law. In his mind, tax reform and the defense of freedom of religion or belief were inseparable.

 

The testimonies of the dizi are always very precious for the debate in our webinars.

 

Susan Liu

 

Susan Liu, an international hotel staff, stressed that Prosecutor Hou violated the investigation’s non-disclosure rule and continued to leak biased news to the media, with more than 400 sensational serial reports (an average of 3-4 per day during the investigation period), and more than 70 broadcasts by 12 TV stations, creating a negative perception of our case by public opinion. The TV news and print media reports have caused anxiety in Taiwanese society as well as great harm to their Shifu and the Tai Ji Men dizis. The media at that time did not verify the news about TJM, nor did they make balanced reports, she said. They just reported whatever information the prosecutors gave them without checking it. This is not ethical journalism, she said.

 

Joanne Dai

 

Joanne Dai, an educator, recalled that three reports on the Tai Ji Men case had been submitted by a French NGO, CAP/ Conscience et Liberté, to the United Nations, warning that taxes are often used as a weapon of discrimination against minority religion and spiritual groups. This has become a global issue and one that the human rights community should be aware of, she said.

 

Yawen Chen

 

Yawen Chen focused on the breaches of the laws by Prosecutor Hou and the NTB committed which were officially identified.

 

The Control Yuan, the inspection arm of Taiwan’s government, indicated in its 2002 report eight major violations of law by Prosecutor Hou. In 2009, the Control Yuan carried out another investigation on the NTB in relation to their misconducts for handling Tai Ji Men case. Seven instances of serious misconduct were found.

 

Despite these thorough reports, no Directors, officers or prosecutor was penalised by any disciplinary actions.

 

Sonia Wang

Sonia Wang, a senior High School Teacher, said that according to the report on World Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders in 2021, China, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Djibouti, and Vietnam have the worst press freedom in the world.

 

The top countries are Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Costa Rica; in Asia, South Korea ranked 42, ranking first and Taiwan ranked 43.

 

While Taiwan’s journalism industry is less oppressed, she said, it is easy to polarize the news environment for profit. This indicates that Taiwanese media still has room for improvement in balancing reporting and monitoring power, she concluded.

 

Ajong Tseng

 

Ajong Tseng, a live streamer, stressed that the Taiwanese media is greatly influenced by political and commercial interests.  Many editors and media reporters lack independent thinking and are often moved by political purposes.  As a result, facts and truth are covered up and the views of the public are manipulated by the media. This has quite a negative impact on freedom, democracy, and human rights in Taiwan.

 

To thwart this trend in the Taiwanese media, Ajong Tseng created, with others, a media public service channel on a social platform to debunk the fake news about Tai Ji Men and publish the true facts.

 

Yin Liu

 

Yin Liu, the managing director of a biotechnology company, recalled that in 1996, the Taiwanese government carried out a political purge in the name of cracking down on cults that had allegedly committed crimes. Tai Ji Men was on the blacklist of the government although it had not violated any law.

 

At that time, the internet was only in its infancy. TV and print media were the major information sources for most people. For this reason, when Tai Ji Men was demonized by the government and the media, tens of thousands of Tai Ji Men dizi and their families were also vilified, stigmatized and discriminated against in society. I can still remember, he said, that when I was dressed in my Tai Ji Men uniform and walking through the streets, there were always people looking at me and commenting negatively.”

 

He also remembers that a friend working in the Ministry of Justice had told his parents that they were on their investigation list.”

 

Further reading: Press coverage in Brussels

 

The Tai Ji Men Case comes from Taiwan to Belgium

Tai Ji Men: Abusive taxation and denial of justice in Taiwan

Abusive Taxation and Denial of Justice in the Tai Ji Men Case in Taiwan

The Tai Ji Men Case and European Values: A Test for Democratic Taiwan

 

Photo credits: EU Today





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TAIWAN: The UN Int’l Day of Fraternity and the Tai Ji Men Case

The UN International Day of Fraternity and the Tai Ji Men Case

By Willy Fautré, director of Human Rights Without Frontiers

 

HRWF (11.02.2022) –Liberté, égalité, fraternité”, or in English, “liberty, equality, fraternity” is the national motto of the French Republic. Although it finds its origin in the 1789 French Revolution, it was not institutionalized until the end of the 19th century in France.

 

It is only in 2021 that for the first time the UN commemorated the cherished value of fraternity with a special focus on religious and inter-religious tolerance.

 

On December 21, 2020, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed in Resolution 75/200 February 4th as “International Day of Human Fraternity.”

 

This resolution, which was co-sponsored by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), reaffirmed in its first paragraph the importance granted to the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

In its second paragraph, it recalled Resolution 36/55 of 25 November 1981 proclaiming the “Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.”

 

The celebration of the International Day of Fraternity is therefore clearly rooted in the freedom of religion or belief, but why the date of 4th February.

 

The choice of this date was justified by the historical meeting between Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad al-Tayyib three years ago on February 4th, 2019. During this meeting, the two religious leaders signed a document titled, Human fraternity for world peace and living together.” That day now kicks off World Interfaith Harmony Week, which has been celebrated during the first week in February since 2010.

 

Observing an International Day of Human Fraternity is needed now more than ever before, considering the deplorable fragmentation of our world today. There is deep concern regarding acts that advocate religious hatred and, thereby, undermine the spirit of tolerance and respect for diversity. Humankind is plagued non only by the COVID 19 but also by the contagious virus of hate, discrimination and racism.  

The antidote or best antibodies to hate is human fraternity, which embodies compassion, mutual respect, unity, solidarity and renewed multilateral cooperation. 

In these difficult times we need to recognize the valuable contribution of people of all faiths or beliefs to humanity.  Dialogue among all religious groups can greatly improve awareness and understanding of the common values shared by all humankind.

The teachings of Dr Hong and Tai Ji Men underline the importance of raising awareness about different cultures and religions or beliefs and the promotion of tolerance, which involves societal acceptance and respect for religious and cultural diversity, including with regard to religious expression. Education of the youth in the framework of Tai Ji Men contributes in a meaningful way to promoting tolerance and the elimination of discrimination based on religion or belief.

They encourage activities aimed at promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue in order to enhance peace and social stability, respect for diversity and mutual respect.

Love and peace are at the core of Tai Ji Men’s values. Such a culture encourages attitudes, traditions and modes of behaviour and ways of life based on Resolution 53/243 titled “Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace” adopted by the UN General Assembly on 6 October 1999. This Resolution, which is the compass of Tai Ji Men, makes a number of recommendations which should find a large echo in the ears of the Taiwanese authorities and the Taiwanese population due to the geo-political situation of their country and due to the unsolved denial of justice imposed on Tai Men for 25 years. These recommendations provide, among other things:

  • Full respect for the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States and non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State;
  • Full respect for and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • Commitment to peaceful settlement of conflicts;
  • Adherence to the principles of freedom, justice, democracy, tolerance, solidarity, cooperation, pluralism, cultural diversity, dialogue and understanding at all levels of society and among nations;
  • Respect for and promotion of equal rights and opportunities
  • Respect for life, ending of violence, promotion and practice of non-violence through education, dialogue and cooperation;
  • Respect for and promotion of the right of everyone to freedom of expression, opinion and information.

In their relations with Dr Hong and his wife, with Tai Ji Men and with the dizi, the Taiwanese authorities should be able to recognize the added value of their contribution to the well-being of the Taiwanese society and where there is still an urgent deficit to be made up when confronting their practices with the UN recommendations.

 

Photo credits: CESNUR & HRWF





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TAIWAN: Fabricated tax evasion cases are violations of religious freedom

Deliberate arbitrary taxation and fabricated tax evasion cases are violations of religious freedom

Contribution to the webinar co-organized by CESNUR, HRWF and Action Alliance to Redress 1219 on 16 January 2022, the US Religious Freedom Day

By Willy Fautré, director of Human Rights Without Frontiers

HRWF (21.01.2022) – In 1993, the then President of the United States proclaimed January 16 “Religious Freedom Day” in remembrance of Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786 adopted by the Virginia General Assembly. The statute would eventually become a foundational principle in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which preserves an individual’s right to belief and to choose and exercise faith without government coercion or reprisal.

 

According to international human rights standards, freedom of religion or belief involves

the right to have or not to have a religion or beliefs,

the right to change or to retain one’s religion or beliefs

the right to share one’s religion, beliefs or worldviews and to make new members

the right to freedom of worship and assembly

the right of association.

 

However, despite these fundamental tenets of freedom of religion or belief, states can demonstrate great ingenuity in developing policies which can unfairly and dangerously threaten its very essence. One of them is the deliberate arbitrary taxation of religious organizations or even fabricated cases of tax evasion with the intention to destroy them financially.

 

This was the case of four religious and spiritual groups in France: Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Evangelical Church of Besançon and two Aumist belief groups.

 

In 1996, the French National Assembly published a report about 172 allegedly dangerous cults (sects in French), which were almost portrayed as criminal associations. The Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses was the first one to be targeted by the tax administration which unduly claimed the payment of 45 million Euros on manual donations.

 

Fifteen years later, the European Court of Human Rights found a violation of Article 9 (the right to freedom of religion). It noted that the manual gifts received by the association represented the main source of its funding and over-taxation of 60% imposed on the association was violating the right of its followers to freely exercise their religion in practical terms.

 

Subsequently, the other stigmatized religious associations benefitted from this pilot judgment and the French state had to reimburse all of them.

 

Some months ago, the High Court in Quebec (Canada) ruled

 

  • that a Taoist Tai Chi Institute was to be regarded as a religious association rather than an institute for physical exercise,
  • that it had therefore been illegally taxed by three cities and was to be reimbursed.

 

In Taiwan, in April 1997, Dr Hong Tao-tze, the founder and spiritual master of Tai Ji Men, was indicted by Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen for alleged tax evasion concerning manual donations for the years from 1991 to 1996 by dizi to their shifu. This practice had forever been recognized as non-taxable and donations had always been tax exempt in the case of Tai Ji Men. The nature of the relationship between Tai Ji Men’s shifu and his dizi has remained unchanged since the inception of the Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy 55 years ago; however, illegal taxes and heavy penalties were imposed on Tai Ji Men for six years based on the unlawful indictment. It took Dr Hong ten years to be declared non-guilty of tax evasion and all the defendants were acquitted on final appeal at the Supreme Court in July 2007. As the court had ruled that no tax was owed by Tai Ji Men, the tax bills should be revoked according to the law but they were not for the year 1992.

 

Prosecutor Hou as well as officials of the National Taxation Bureau (NTB) and the Administrative Enforcement Agency (AEA) lost their face in this matter. They should have also lost their bonuses, a vicious system which creates a conflict of interest encouraging illegal over-taxation and even fabrication of tax evasion cases for personal winnings.

 

However, artificially and illegally, the two state institutions maintained their prosecution against Tai Ji Men for an allegedly unpaid tax on dizi’s donations to their shifu dating back to 1992, despite the fact that, in July 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that the donations were gifts, which were tax-exempt income and nontaxable. In addition, the Supreme Administrative Court of Taiwan concluded that its previous final judgment for 1992 tax bill had failed to take into account new facts and evidence, and that the 1992 tax decision is unjustified. The consequence of this administrative abuse was that in late August 2020, Taiwan’s Administrative Enforcement Agency and the National Taxation Bureau arbitrarily seized and auctioned the land intended for a self-cultivation center for Tai Ji Men dizi.

 

Despite the international jurisprudence set in stone in France and in Quebec, Taiwan is still failing to do justice to Tai Ji Men.

 

In Taiwan, for 25 years, the taxation administration has been turning a deaf ear to outside experts and has not consulted any. It has ignored all the court rulings and even the Supreme Court. It has illegally imposed taxes and auctioned Tai Ji Men’s property instead of abiding by the highest national court, instead of apologizing and reimbursing Tai Ji Men.

 

A political decision should put an end to this denial of justice.

Further reading about FORB in Taiwan on HRWF website


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