Police in Nantou County raided a funeral and issued fines to eleven family members, Saturday, June 5, after neighbors informed the police of an illegal gathering.
Chen Zhiwen, deputy sub-director of the Puli Police Station said that police had received a report Saturday that “twenty to thirty” people had gathered in Guoxing Township, against epidemic alert Level 3 mandates that limit gatherings to a maximum of five people indoors, and 10 people outdoors.
Police rushed to the scene to find a family holding a funeral ceremony in an open-ended marquee outside their home. A total of 11 people were in the marquee, wearing surgical masks, and maintaining social distance around the coffin containing the remains of a man named Yu.
Officers entered the funeral marquee to gather evidence, with one officer standing beside the coffin and taking video evidence. The family members were asked to provide their names, and informed that they were breaching epidemic prevention regulations and liable to fines of NT$60,000 each to a total of NT$660,000 (US$23,820).
The mourning family members were stunned at the lack of empathy, calling the police action “cold-blooded law enforcement.”
The deceased, a man who enthusiastically gave to charity and was active in his local village community, could not be given a public send-off befitting him already, due to epidemic prevention regulations, and even a low-key, small family gathering was raided by police.
The police raid delayed the cremation schedule, and the family had to rearrange the date for interring the deceased’s remains in the ossuary.
Police gathered the evidence and names and passed the information onto the Nantou County Health Bureau for arbitration.
The Nantou County government decided not to fine the funeral participants. As it is a family funeral, the numbers are not necessarily restricted to five people indoors, or ten outdoors, as long at epidemic prevention precautions are taken, including wearing masks and social distancing, the county government Civil Affairs office said.
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