Mon, Apr 17, 2017 - Page 3 News List

FEATURE: White Terror on trial in simulated court

UNCONSTITUTIONAL:Arguments focused on two cases during the Martial Law era: a Taiwanese member of the CCP, and a Tsou man who was imprisoned for corruption

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

First, does an “enemy of the state” — someone who by violence committed an “overt act” with intent to destroy the state or use illegal means to overthrow the government according to the Criminal Code — who was tried and executed by an authoritarian state according to martial law, deserve reparations by the post-authoritarian government for being a “political victim”?

Second, are those who were tried on corruption charges which were (according to later evidence) politically motivated entitled to reparations after democratization?

The court brought forward two people convicted during the authoritarian period, whose entitlements to redress were appealed by incumbent lawmakers and the convicts’ progeny.

Executed by the KMT regime in 1953, Li Ma-dou (李媽兜) was a Taiwanese who joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1946 and helped the CCP expand its network in Taiwan.

The CCP’s Taiwan Provincial Work Committee was set up in 1946, after which the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, the ensuing Cold War and the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet in the Taiwan Strait helped the KMT tighten its control over Taiwan.

Until that point, the KMT regime that fled to Taiwan after its defeat in the Chinese Civil War in 1949 had anticipated its imminent eradication by the CCP.

Li was caught in 1952 following the arrest in 1950 of the work committee head Tsai Hsiao-chien (蔡孝乾), who worked with the KMT to arrest CCP members in Taiwan.

In 2000, nine years after the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion (動員戡亂時期條款) was annulled, Li’s descendants invoked the 1999 Compensation Act for Wrongful Trials on Charges of Sedition and Espionage during the Martial Law Period (戒嚴時期不當叛亂暨匪諜審判案件補償條例) for compensation, but was blocked from the payroll by Article 8, which states that compensation is not applicable to those whose “conviction for sedition or treason survives reviews according to the current laws or the current evidence laws.”

The other case mentioned in the ruling involved Voyue Tosku (杜孝生), a Tsou man who received a 17-year prison sentence in 1954 for corruption.

He was among a group of Aboriginal elites who were also charged with corruption, but were additionally indicted and sentenced to death or life imprisonment for “committing an overt act to overthrow” the state and “sheltering communist spies.”

The corruption and insurgency charges were “coinvestigated and cotried.”

Aboriginal elites such as Uyongu Yatauyanguna (湯守仁) and Uyongu’e Yatauyungana (高一生) of the Tsou people and Losing Watan (林瑞昌) of the Atayal — three out of the six who were executed — had advocated autonomy for Taiwan’s Aborigines, and had demanded that the new regime return certain lands nationalized by the Japanese colonial government.

Later research found they had been approached by Taiwanese communists after the war, but vacillated between cooperating with the KMT regime and joining the communist cause that promised self-rule for Aborigines.

Aboriginal people had posed a threat to both Taiwanese communists and the KMT regime, since they were located in the mountains, which had been hideouts for some communists, and because it was not without precedent that Aboriginal people could join Han Taiwanese rebellions, as in the 228 Incident.

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