Professor detained for 'endangering public'

CHINA - Police yesterday detained Hsu Shih-ron, a professor at the Department of Land Economics at National Chengchi University, for endangering public safety.

He was released at around 10:30 p.m. last night.

Hsu is widely regarded as one of the leading figures in the movement against the government-backed forced demolition of houses in Dapu , which aims to pave the way for a science and technology industry park.

Earlier, Hsu had joined a demonstration outside the Ministry of Health and Welfare, chanting appeals among the ranks of protesters. Hsu was detained by the police shortly afterward and has been held in the nearby Da Tong precinct station, according to reports.

The demonstrators had four demands: reparations and an apology for those affected, the return of the land to its previous owners, the launch of a corruption investigation against related government officials, and the expedited amendment of related laws.

Protests have continued since the July 18 demolition of four Dapu homes, with numerous students, professors and even the "Rice Bomber" Yang Ru-men joining. A number of civic and academic organisations, including the Taiwan Rural Front and the Dapu Solidarity Association, have mobilized for the demonstrations.

Zan Shun-gwei , an attorney aligned with the Taiwan Rural Front, stated that the detainment of Hsu, who is considered to be one of the Dapu movement's spiritual leaders, will greatly exacerbate the situation.