On December 10 we celebrate the Human Rights Day. Such a celebration always is a source of hope and optimism in solving different issues regarding the human rights, raising the humanitarianism and morality in the world.
This year, 2021, Soteria International, was invited to participate to a webinar – “Human Rights and Anti-Corruption: The Tai Ji Men Case”, organized by International Forum for Human Rights, in the celebration of the human rights day and also to raise awareness and celebrate December 9th – the Anti-corruption Day.
Soteria International was represented by the Deputy Director, Camelia Marin. Here is her presentation:
“Today, rule of law is challenged not only from arbitrary application of the law within certain states, but increasingly by how the tools regulating the interaction between different national judicial systems lacks a precision to hinder abuses and misinterpretations. Thus, the very tools for securing the rule of law open a risk for its corruption.
The Tai Ji Men case shows clearly abuses done within national systems as in the Tai Ji Men case we can notice that the rule of law, fair trial, face another aspect – the decision of the court is not applied as such and thus we face a case of administrative persecution or violence, or we can say corruption.
Lets go back in time, on December 10, 1948 when the Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed.
In the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights one speaks strongly about the dignity and equal and inalienable human rights as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. Ignorance and violation of human rights, says the preamble, often resulted in revolting barbarous acts.
Moreover, here is proclaimed the image of a world where man is free to think and talk about his beliefs, free from terror and misery, as an expression of one of the highest aspirations of humanity.
Also, it is specified that this statement was intended to be a common ideal of humanity to which all peoples and nations should and must converge constantly and – by the teaching and education that they will understand to give their peoples, each based on its specific and by bearing in mind that this ideal sprang from the deeply humanistic spirit of the Declaration – strive very hard and use all the means to develop a great respect and justification for these rights and freedoms.
What have all these peoples and nations disregarded, since after more than half a century, the ideals formulated so clearly and strongly by it were simply forgotten and completely ignored?
Lets analyse the case of Tai Ji Men spiritual community which is unfortunately an example for the corrupted state system.
Tai Ji Men case is a domestic Taiwan tax law issue. It is not a private problem of Dr. Hong, it is a case raising a question of principle and of justice, and of religious liberty.
This case, which is a tax case, actually it is mostly a freedom of religion or belief case. To let persecution and discrimination to be shaped as private financial matters or even criminal charges has a long history.
The corruption, biased application of the laws is systematically observed in the structures of different countries. The morality and ethics, which should be at the base of all natural and supportive structures of a country, are very challenged lately.
The concern for the Tai Ji Men case, which can become a precedent case for unfair, biased taxation shows the need of action and standing for human rights violations and anti-corruption.
Tai Ji Men faces injustices and biased application of laws and courts decisions in their case for 25 years. We wonder for how long the Taiwanese government wishes to prolong this administrative violence and apply corrupted rules upon Tai Ji Men community.
Who is responsible and can take action to correct and finalize this situation?
The highest courts and authorities of Taiwan had concluded that there was no “cult,” no fraud, no violation of the Tax Collection Act.
Now we see that arbitrary used by National Tax Bureau who claimed that the content of the red envelopes should not be considered as a gift but as a tuition fee for receiving training in a so-called “cram school”, only for the year 1992 and the rest of the years can by just gifts. Why?
Gifts are not taxable, while cram schools tuition fees are.
What made the year 1992 different of the others?
How can Taiwanese authorities justify abuses against those who wish to freely express this kind of spiritual experiences and beliefs, abuses that after more than half a century after the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights still exist in the form of inadmissible moral atrocities committed against them?
There are several questions and angles to take and analyse.
We can observe that the administrative system has the tendency to take over the judicial or other institutions of the state. The administrative system, mainly based on the control obtain upon people through bureaucracy and control upon the money can easily become a tool for corruption and biased taxation.
Still, we showed never forget that the humanity has higher ideals, and goes for morality, for awakening conscience and strong belief.
We hope that all these questions to reach those to whom it may concern and hopefully to see some actions done in order to re-establish the human rights and to clean the tendency of corruption of the institutions of the state.
Let me express my gratitude for the perseverance and optimism that Tai Ji Men shows and shares by standing for their case, bringing hope to the many others around the world, who have not yet found justice, but are still persecuted in violation with the universal human right of freedom of though, conscience and belief.”
Here the video of the entire event