Exiled Taiwanese human rights activist Teng Biao apologises
An exiled Chinese human rights activist apologized to a female journalist in Taiwan as the MeToo movement gains momentum.
During a work-related trip in 2016, the woman claims Mr Teng tried to rape her. The rape allegations were unfounded, but Mr Teng apologized in his statement on Wednesday.
The encounter was a “clumsy courtship,” not an attack, according to him.
He moved to the US in 2014 after leaving mainland China in 2012.
Mr Teng lunged at the Taiwanese journalist in a hotel room in India in 2016, according to the journalist, who prefers not to be named.
After her official schedule finished, Ms Teng offered her a room for which he claimed some acquaintances had already paid, since they had left earlier than expected.
Her claim is that she entered the room and found Mr Teng sitting there.
Her response was, “Don’t come, or I’ll scream,” which he did not want anyone else to hear.
Despite not providing any additional details, Mr Teng told the BBC he had “strong evidence” that the rape attempt accusation was baseless. Following the apology, Mr Teng resigned from two human rights groups.
She asked him to apologize publicly after the incident, the journalist says. A few of their mutual acquaintances asked her to stop pursuing a public apology because they feared it would create a negative impression about their efforts in human rights. Mr Teng agreed to do so, but several of their mutual acquaintances advised her to refrain from doing so.
When the organizer asked why he was bothering him during the trip, he replied, “Why are you bothering me?”
“I felt embarrassed about it.”
“The wound is not healed,” she said after the latest round of MeToo allegations in Taiwan.
As a result of Netflix’s MeToo show, there has been an outpouring in Taiwan
Consequently, she contacted Mr Teng two weeks ago asking for a public apology, which led him to issue a statement on Wednesday.
Teng was “extremely guilty” for the damage she suffered, according to the statement posted on Twitter and Facebook.
A public apology will be made today: Sorry, I hurt you. I have apologised to her many times privately, and I will also make an apology to her publicly today.
Additionally, he remembered not lunging at her or stopping her from leaving.
Human rights lawyer Mr Teng was known for challenging Communist Party abuses of power. Previously, he was a lecturer at the China University of Political Science and Law.
A 70-day detention in 2011 led to his departure from mainland China in 2012. According to him, he did not dare to return because the Chinese government was cracking down on human rights.
In the US, he has been vocal about China’s suppression of human rights. Teng’s Twitter account indicates he is now a Hauser Human Rights Scholar at Hunter College and a Pozen Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago.
MeToo has spread across Taiwanese society since late May, with more than 140 accusations against politicians, doctors, professors, and celebrities.
Among them was Wang Dan, a prominent Tiananmen protest leader. Two young men had alleged sexual assault against him earlier this month. Among them, one man claims he was raped. In response to the case, Wang resigned from his faculty position and said he would return to Taiwan from the US.
In an Instagram livestream session this week, famed TV show host Mickey Huang Tzu-Chiao apologized to his accuser over self-inflicted injuries. A discharge has been reported, and he is currently stable.