• Taiwanese official Tai Ning was photographed kneeling while restrained at her father's funeral on March 23
  • Taiwanese authorities said requiring Tai to wear handcuffs and leg shackles at the funeral was lawful
  • Authorities said that they may use a different approach in the future after the photo sparked backlash in Taiwan

Lawmakers in Taiwan have called out the country's justice department after a detained official was photographed attending her father's funeral while bound in shackles, according to reports.

Chiayi City Councilor Tai Ning was kept in handcuffs and leg shackles as she returned home and attended the March 23 funeral of her father, former Chiayi City Councilor Tai Chien-shan, Yahoo News reported.

Chien-shan died on March 20, but Ning, who has been in pre-trial incommunicado detention since mid-March over a 5 million New Taiwan dollars (approximately $174,500) embezzlement case, was unable to see him as her initial request for bail was rejected by the Chiayi District Court, according to the outlet.

The court later allowed Ning to attend her father's funeral after she invoked Article 23 of Taiwan’s Detention Act, which states defendants undergoing criminal procedures can see their deceased grandparent, parent, spouse, child, sibling or parent of a spouse with approval from senior detention center officials.

However, a photo of Ning kneeling on the ground in front of her father's coffin while handcuffed and shackled was shared 15 minutes into her visit, a report by the Taiwanese newspaper United Daily News said.

The photo, with a filter applied to it, was uploaded to Ning's Facebook account.

"Dad, Tai Ning is back to pay homage to you! Please forgive your daughter for being unfilial. I couldn't be by your side when you left, and I left you alone," the post's caption read.

See posts, photos and more on Facebook.

The image of Ning kneeling at her father's funeral drew public backlash in Taiwan, with netizens calling the incident "inhumane," the Liberty Times reported.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Chen Ming-wen has since called out the Agency of Corrections (AoC) for restraining a detainee who is not yet convicted of any crime and claimed that the incident was a violation of Taiwan's social customs and conditions.

He and fellow legislators Wang Hui-mei, Tsai Yi-yu, Wu Yu-chin and Chiu Tai-yuan also protested against Ning's treatment and called on Taiwan's Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang, whose ministry is the parent agency of the AoC, to ask lower-level units to avoid similar actions in the future.

The Chiayi Detention Center, for its part, responded to the backlash by saying that requiring Ning to wear handcuffs and leg shackles was lawful, but it noted that a different approach may be considered in the future depending on individual cases.

Representation. Chiayi City Councilor Tai Ning was kept in handcuffs and leg shackles as she returned home and attended the March 23 funeral of her father, former city councilor Tai Chien-shan. jhusemannde/Pixabay