Taipei, May 3 (CNA) The Taipei City government said Wednesday that the media’s revealing the name of a promising young writer who killed herself last week after allegedly being raped by her cram school teacher during her teenage years does not violate the law as the case matters much to social justice.
Its statement came amid heated debate over whether hiding the identity of Lin Yi-han (林奕含), who published a bestselling novel this year about a girl raped by her teacher, in news reports is in accordance of the law that aims at protecting sexual assault victims or rather serves to demean her.
Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏), head of the city’s Department of Information and Tourism, said Lin’s name should be disclosed because the issue behind her death matters a lot to social justice.
Naming her in the news reports is the right thing to do also because her parents had already issued a public statement through her publisher, alleging that their daughter was the victim of sexual assault, Chien said.
Disclosure of her name does not violate Article 13 of the Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act, which stipulates that “publicity material, publications, broadcasts, television, internet contents or other kinds of media should not report or publish the name or any other personal identifiable information about the victim.”
It notes that there will be no such limitation if the authorities consider disclosing the information is necessary because it matters to social justice.
Chien said Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has been stressing the importance of “facts.” Hiding Lin’s identity, in this case, means she’s not getting what she deserves, Chien said.
Immediately after the publisher named Lin in the statement provided by her parents last week, the Ministry of Health and Welfare warned that such a move could result in a fine for violating the act, triggering criticism from many.
However, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said during a legislative session Wednesday that no fine would be levied against the writer’s parents, noting that the warning was meant to protect the victim.