The Taiwan Foreign Correspondents’ Club exists to promote and advance the rights of those who work for international media outlets in Taiwan.

As a new year begins, it remains of grave concern to the TFCC that the significant progress made by Taiwan in recent decades is undermined by the use of criminal law to pursue correspondents who undertake legitimate investigative journalism. 

As an example, a case against experienced and long-standing correspondent Kathrin Hille, a reporter for the Financial Times newspaper and former TFCC President, is antithetical to the principles of democracy and free media in Taiwan. Actions such as this only serve to intimidate professional journalists and should be dropped. 

The use of criminal laws pertaining to defamation and insult are hallmarks of societies far-less free and open than Taiwan. It would be germane for all parties in government to reassess the Criminal Code with a view to reforms that may further enhance Taiwan’s democratic progress.