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Activist group to stage second protest over soldier's death

Activist group to stage second protest over soldier's death

Taipei, Aug. 3 (CNA) A rally which aims to draw 100,000 demonstrators will take place Saturday evening in a bid to demand further investigation into Army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu's death at an army barracks. The demonstration will begin at 6 p.m. on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office. Protesters have been asked to dress in white to "bid farewell" to Hung, who died on July 4 of severe heatstroke after being ordered to do strenuous exercises in a brigade barracks in sweltering weather, according to event organizers. Hung's family members, along with celebrities such as novelist Giddens Ko and singer Maggie Chiang, will also attend the rally and make speeches, said civic group Citizen 1985. Military prosecutors have failed to bring the perpetrators to justice over Hung's death, the group said, casting doubts over the result of a military investigation. Eighteen Army officers have been indicted on charges of abusing a subordinate, leading to his death, infringing upon individual freedom or punishing personnel beyond existing regulations. Four officers detained in the case were granted bail earlier this week as the crimes they committed were not deemed serious, according to military prosecutors. A separate investigation carried out by the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office also found that there had been no tampering with surveillance footage of the holding cell where Hung was confined prior to his death. But Citizen 1985 criticized the prosecutors for closing their investigation hastily. The civic group called for a revision of certain military laws so that military personnel suspected of abusive practices can be tried in a civilian court. "We demand that the military justice system be abandoned altogether," the group said in a statement. Citizen 1985 had on July 20 organized a protest with about 30,000 people taking to the streets near the Ministry of National Defense. Hung's funeral is planned for Sunday. (By Lee Hsin-Yin)