Mon, Apr 15, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Commission hopes declassification of secret files will help solve major cases

Staff writer, with CNA

The Transitional Justice Commission on Saturday said that it expects the declassification of secret files concerning several major political cases to help its investigations.

The cases eyed by the commission include the murder of Lin Yi-hsiung’s (林義雄) family members, the commission said.

On Friday, Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) said on Facebook that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has instructed her and National Security Council Secretary-General David Lee (李大維) to call a meeting about the possible declassification of political files related to the cases, as Taiwanese are eager to know the facts.

The commission said that the National Archives Administration has since 2000 made several attempts to collect files concerning the cases, but to no avail, and their existence was only discovered following the passage of the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例) in 2017.

Due to differing legal interpretations between various government agencies, access to the files remains difficult, it said.

Hopefully the files will be declassified as soon as possible and bring the victims and their families justice, the commission said.

In her Facebook post, Chen said that the government is working hard to achieve transitional justice and is determined to uncover Taiwan’s political history.

Through these efforts, Taiwan should see its democracy strengthen and society should become more harmonious, Chen said.

Among the cases targeted is the Lin family massacre that occurred on Feb. 28, 1980.

Lin’s mother and seven-year-old twin daughters were stabbed to death shortly after he was detained in connection with the Kaohsiung Incident on Dec. 10, 1979. a pro-democracy protest against the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime, the commission said.

The murders remain unsolved.

Another case is the Kaohsiung Incident itself.

The then-ruling KMT government seized on the protest as an excuse to arrest several heavyweights, including Huang Shin-chieh (黃信介), after serious clashes between protesters and police.

The case of late Carnegie Mellon University assistant professor Chen Wen-chen (陳文成), who died during a trip to Taiwan to visit relatives and friends in 1981, is also being investigated.

Chen, who was born in Taiwan, was questioned by police on July 2 that year for providing financial assistance to Formosa Magazine.

Chen’s body was discovered near a library at the National Taiwan University campus the next day. The cause of death was unclear.

The other case the commission is focusing on happened in 1972, when 13 NTU professors, including Chen Ku-ying (陳鼓應) and Wang Hsiao-po (王曉波), were suspended for criticizing the political and social situation in Taiwan.

In 1993, NTU formed a special committee to pay compensation to the affected professors, saying that their suspension was because of inappropriate political intervention.

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