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Taiwanese man calls Indian 'Black man' for not wearing mask while drinking

Video shows man accosting Indian national for drinking coffee without mask on

Taiwanese man confronts Indian man for not wearing a mask while drinking coffee. (Photo from victim)

Taiwanese man confronts Indian man for not wearing a mask while drinking coffee. (Photo from victim)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An Indian man is pressing charges after a Taiwanese man allegedly hurled racial slurs at him for not wearing a mask as he drank coffee in a Hsinchu coffee shop.

At 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday (May 3), a 36-year-old Indian entrepreneur, who wishes to be identified only as Mike, was drinking coffee with a fellow Indian national at a Louisa Coffee branch near the Hsinchu Zoo when a Taiwanese man sitting a couple of tables away suddenly walked towards them. According to Mike, the man demanded that he wear a mask.

Mike explained that he was drinking and asked, "Who are you to come and yell at me to wear a mask?" The man replied, "I'm Taiwanese," to which Mike responded that the man could call the police if he felt he had violated epidemic prevention regulations and that he would be willing to pay a fine if found to have violated the law.

According to Mike, the man became even more aggressive and yelled, "You Indian, Indian man, Black man, get out of Taiwan." Mike recorded part of the incident on his phone and asked the other man to stay away from him until the police arrived.

The man continued to accost him for over 10 minutes, Mike said. Police arrived at the scene 15 minutes after the confrontation began, having been called by the agitated man, according to Mike, who said he called the immigration helpline 1990 soon after.

Officers asked both men to present their sides of the incident. After inspecting the Taiwanese man's ID, he was allowed to go. The officers requested that Mike go to the police station to file a report.

Taiwanese man calls Indian 'Black man' for not wearing mask while drinking
Police report filed by Mike. (Photo from victim)

Mike asked police if he had violated the law by taking off a mask to drink coffee in the shop. They said that he had not and that he was not subject to any fine.

At the station, Mike decided to press charges for Offenses Against Reputation (妨害名譽罪), which he said he filed on the grounds of "public insult, embarrassment, and verbal abuse." The friend who had been with him when the incident occurred confirmed to the police the insults the man had hurled.

Mike said that after living in Taiwan for seven years, this was the first time he had experienced such blatantly racist behavior and that this was why he recorded the incident. He said he was shocked and disappointed that "people like him are destroying Taiwan's reputation."

With a Taiwanese wife and two children, Mike is now seeking assurance that the law will protect foreigners from being insulted or assaulted. "There have been many cases in which people did not have time to take the necessary action," said Mike.

"But I won't let it go, I'm giving my voice on behalf of every single person who is being insulted or abused," he vowed.

He also pointed out the hypocrisy of the man for claiming to be enforcing epidemic prevention regulations while failing to maintain a social distance. Mike stressed that he had been keeping a proper social distance between himself and his friend and other customers before the man rushed over.

Part of the confrontation can be seen below:

Updated : 2022-05-24 07:04 GMT+08:00