Taiwan President praises late Presbyterian leader for democracy activism

Kao Chun-ming, a former political prisoner, died at the age of 89 last week

  841
A memorial service for Presbyterian leader and human rights activist Kao Chun-ming took place in Kaohsiung Friday.

A memorial service for Presbyterian leader and human rights activist Kao Chun-ming took place in Kaohsiung Friday. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Late former Presbyterian Church in Taiwan leader and human rights activist Kao Chun-ming (高俊明) was at the forefront of the country’s democratic movement, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Friday.

A memorial service for Kao, who passed away last week at the age of 89, took place in Kaohsiung Friday. The reverend played a key role in helping dissidents and human rights activists during the Kuomintang’s Martial Law rule and even spent four years in prison.

Writing on Facebook, the president said Kao had been a predecessor and an elder of the Taiwanese democracy movement, and that all the suggestions he had made, amounted to an expression of his love for the country. Today’s democracy had been achieved by the lifelong blood and tears of people like Kao, she wrote.

After the opposition Democratic Progressive Party won a presidential election for the first time in 2000, the Presbyterian leader was appointed senior adviser to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who was present at Friday’s service.

He recently spoke out against same-sex marriage and co-signed an open letter calling on President Tsai to refrain from seeking a second term in next year’s presidential election.