Mon, May 29, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Extension requested for 228 claimants

MISSING CERTIFICATES:The bodies of many people killed during the 228 Massacre were never found, making it impossible for their relatives to claim compensation

By Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff reporter

The Memorial Foundation of 228 said it has asked the Ministry of the Interior to amend the Act for Handling and Compensation for the 228 Incident (二 二 八事件賠償及處理條例) to extend the period for claiming compensation, after a slew of documents related to the Incident were uncovered, giving victims an opportunity to seek compensation.

The act had set the deadline for claiming state compensation as Tuesday last week.

According to the act, victims could claim compensation within seven years of Oct. 7, 1995. The deadline was later extended.

In 2013, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) proposed to amend the act and the period was extended for another four years.

However, foundation executive director Yang Cheng-long (楊振隆) on Saturday said that victims need more time to claim compensation as more historic documents about the massacre are still being uncovered.

According to papers published by Academia Sinica, about 1,100 people were persecuted by then-Secrecy Bureau during the Incident, but only 68 of them have so far claimed compensation, he said.

Many victims could not disclose that they had been persecuted, due to oppression during the White Terror era, Yang said, adding that there are still many people who could not find the bodies of their relatives killed during the Incident and they had not been given proper death certificates.

As a result, they could not claim compensation, Yang said.

For these reasons, Yang said he has requested the ministry to extend the period to claim compensation.

Deputy Minister of the Interior Lin Tzu-ling (林慈玲) said the ministry is evaluating the proposal and that no decision has been made.

An official speaking on condition of anonymity said it is possible that the act would be amended and the period would be extended.

The Incident refers to a crackdown launched by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime against civilian demonstrations following an incident in Taipei on Feb. 27, 1947. The crackdown is considered the beginning of the White Terror era, during which thousands of people were arrested, imprisoned and executed.

Historians estimate as many as 30,000 people were killed.

The Executive Yuan in 1990 set up a task force to investigate the Incident.

The Report of the 228 Incident was published in 1992, and a memorial was set up in 1995 at the 228 Peace Park in Taipei.

In October 1995, the state-funded Memorial Foundation of 228 was established to deal with compensation and rehabilitation of 228 Incident victims.

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