Wed, May 01, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers pass compensation bills

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The legislature yesterday cleared an amendment extending by four years the period during which the families of 228 Massacre victims can apply for compensation, as well as another amendment making the families of victims of crime in foreign countries eligible for state compensation.

The amendment to the Regulations for Handling of and Compensation for the 228 Incident (二 二 八事件處理及補償條例) was initiated by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) to help compensate all the families of those who perished in the massacre, which took place in 1947 when Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) troops suppressed a popular uprising, leaving tens of thousands dead, missing or imprisoned.

Although, the compensation application deadline had been extended four times since October 1995 — when the government began granting compensation — some victims’ families lost their eligibility after the previous deadline expired on October 2004.

Hsiao praised the amendment’s passage, saying that some victims’ families were not aware that a family member had died in the massacre and its aftermath until recently due to various reasons, including the government’s declassification of historic files.

Meanwhile, an amendment to the Crime Victims Protection Act (犯罪被害人保護法) proposed by DPP Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) also cleared the legislature with the victims of crime who were killed on foreign soil are eligible for state compensation of NT$200,000 (US$6,777).

The amendment covers crimes that took place as far back as Dec. 9, 2011, and empowers victim’s families to demand media outlets make corrections and give explanations for any false reports on the cases within 15 days of their publication.

Lin said he was inspired to propose the amendment by a homicide case earlier this year in which two Taiwanese girls were slain by a Taiwanese man in Japan. The families of the two girls were not eligible to receive state compensation because the Crime Victims Protection Act did not cover overseas cases at the time.

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