Thu, May 05, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Lawmaker seeks to amend White Terror compensation

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Twu Shiing-jer holds up a book during a press conference yesterday while talking about his plan to introduce a legal amendment that would make it easier for victims of the White Terror to have their confiscated property returned.

Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times

A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker plans to introduce a legal amendment that would make it easier for victims of the White Terror to have their confiscated property returned.

DPP Legislator Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) said there were still victims throughout the nation who, despite being subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing, were still seeking justice, adding that compensation efforts had fallen behind those in other young democracies.

“Many victims and their families have been in legal limbo for years as they seek justice from the government and many hopes have been dashed,” Twu said, referring to victims whose assets were taken away by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) during the period.

“It’s truly regrettable,” he said.

A version of the amendment he plans to introduce would extend compensation deadlines for three years and clarify the types of properties that can or cannot be returned.

The government would also be asked to set up a compensation committee.

Confiscated property that served as important government installations, had key social significance or is now registered under another name would be compensated for with a cash payment, the revision stipulates.

In addition, the ability of descendants to apply for compensation would be enshrined in law. Every case, along with the relevant documents and evidence, would have to be sent to the -Ministry of the Interior.

The proposal, which would amend the Statute Governing the Recovery of People’s Rights Damaged During the Period of Martial Law (戒嚴時期人民受損權利回復條例), reflects public opinion on social justice and the principle of fairness, Twu said.

Experts on the White Terror era say some high-profile cases of confiscated assets from that period remained unresolved.

In some cases, the value of the assets seized is in the millions of New Taiwan dollars, they said.

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