Sat, Nov 30, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Blacklist victims want secret records opened

BANNED During the martial law period, many Taiwanese were denied entry to their homeland. Time, say former exiles, to let in some daylight

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lawmakers and former exiles yesterday demand access to government files connected with the notorious martial-law-era blacklist.


Former political dissidents blacklisted by Taiwan's authorities when the country was under martial law joined lawmakers yesterday to urge the government to disclose files pertaining to the formation of the persona non grata policy in Taiwan's history.

The policy which mainly targeted supporters of Taiwan independence, was formulated during the martial law period. Those Taiwanese labeled by the policy were forbidden from returning to their homeland.

"The government should bring these files into the light to allow victims of the blacklist to enjoy the right to go over these files about themselves," said DPP lawmaker Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) at a public hearing in the legislature yesterday.

"They have every right to clearly understand why they were accused by the authorities and how they were monitored," Hsiao said.

Dozens of victims of the policy, voiced similar yearnings.

"I hope that investigations into the formulation of the blacklist in the past under the KMT-led government can allow us to understand the truth," said Lo Yi-shih (羅益世), Taiwan-born resident in Canada.

Organizers of the hearing also released countless names blacklisted by the KMT government in the past, many of which have turned the table to emerge as key players in the ruling DPP government.

Lo Fu-chen (羅福全), Taipei's top representative to Japan, and his old friend Thomas Chen (陳東壁), Taipei's de facto ambassador to Canada, were once blacklisted due to their membership of the World United Formosans for Independence (WUFI), previously a US-based organization supporting Taiwan independence.

Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), DPP candidate in next Saturday's Taipei mayoral election, was also blacklisted because of his involvement in WUFI activities.

In 1990 Lee returned to Taiwan through illegal channels as part of WUFI's plan to move its headquarters back to Taiwan, and began a 14-month hide-and-seek game with intelligence agents before he was arrested on charges of sedition.

Former dissidents at the public hearing also targeted incumbent Taipei city mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), accusing him of once acting as a KMT spy who investigated into overseas Taiwanese students during their anti-government demonstrations in Boston.

"Although he has denied taking photos of demonstrators in a street protest back in 1978, I witnessed it myself," said Chang Chi-tien (張啟典), associate professor at the department of pathology in Beth Israel Hospital, a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Chang at the time was pursuing his degree in medicine, while Ma was studying law in Harvard.

Ma has always denied any accusation about to his alleged role as a KMT spy during his studies overseas.

Campaigners for opening records of the blacklist believe that the proof of his involvement, in the guise of written reports, lies in the files.

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