Sun, Jan 07, 2018 - Page 6 News List

A lesson in what White Terror was

By Shih Ming-hsiung 施明雄

Moreover, they overlooked the facts that Wang and his colleagues were released without bail after a few hours of questioning and that Wang earlier that day was able to film his confrontation with the MJIB officials for an online live broadcast when he was requested to open the door.

The day after their release, Wang and his colleague Huo Han-ting (侯漢廷), another New Party youth wing executive, held a news conference at which they condemned the “Green Terror” and announced their decision to run for Taipei city councilor in the upcoming elections, as if the act of defecting to China and promoting unification were heroic.

It never seems to have occurred to Wang and his colleagues that they might just have immediately been shot if they had lived during the White Terror era. They would have been unlikely to survive, let alone allowed to return home in one piece and deliver a brazen news conference afterwards.

As a political victim myself, I would like to delineate for these “Wang Ping-chungs” the scenes of plainclothes special investigation officers coming to homes and arresting people on the spot during the White Terror era. It seems ridiculous to me that the “Green Terror” they have been shouting about consists of special, free shuttle bus transportation, perhaps even snacks provided during questioning, pauses allowed for a bathroom break and an intermission to take a rest.

Back in 1962, I returned to my home in Kaohsiung for the summer vacation from the National Defense Medical Center, where I studied. One day, upon being identified by the district police officer, my elder brother Shih Ming-cheng (施明正) was forcefully carried away without warrant by several strong bruisers.

About 30 hours later, as I was walking out of the shower, the same police officer brought a few more bruisers with him, shouting for “Shih Ming-hsiung.” As soon as the police officer pointed at me, two of these big guys rushed forward and violently grabbed me, one on each side, again without showing any summons or warrant.

“Please allow me at least to wear something,” I told them.

“There is no need for that. You will be back soon,” they shouted in reply.

With only a pair of khaki pants and blue-and-white slippers on, I was taken away. It was not until five years later that my elder brother and I returned to Kaohsiung from Taiyuan Prison in Taitung County.

I was accused of helping establish an insurgent group named the “Taiwan Independence League” (台灣獨立聯盟) and the evidence they provided against us was simply that we were having a meal prepared by my elder brother in the fall of 1959 for my younger brother Shih Ming-te (施明德) and a few of his classmates from Kaohsiung Senior High School, as Shih Ming-te, who had just graduated from the artillery school, was preparing to leave for duty as an artillery officer on Kinmen.

With the exception of my elder brother, who was 23 at the time, the other people who were arrested — regardless of whether they attended the meal — were no older than 18 and were harshly interrogated and forced to make confessions under duress: The five who were given the lightest sentences were sentenced to five years in prison; four received 12-year sentences, others were given seven and 10-year sentences, and two even received life imprisonment.

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