The Transitional Justice Commission on Friday said that the Taiwan Transitional Justice Database is to be made available to the public on Wednesday next week, just ahead of the 73rd anniversary of the 228 Massacre.
Throughout the Martial Law era — from May 19, 1949, until the law was lifted on July 15, 1987, by then-president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) — the government sent many people to military courts, alleging that they had committed treason, which generated a plethora of political cases that did not meet the principles of a fair trial, the committee said.
The committee said that it has recorded the victims of Martial Law-era military court rulings, as well as the names and ranks of the military court judges, and the prosecutors and officials at the trials.
The database includes the names of more than 10,000 people who received a “guilty” verdict at a military court, committee spokesperson Yeh Hung-ling (葉虹靈) said, adding that the database also includes more than 5,000 photographs from government archives.
After the database is made public, people could learn how the trials commenced and how the government handled them, the committee said, adding that they would simply have to enter the names of victims, for instance, politician and historian Li Ao (李敖), or democracy pioneer Lei Chen (雷震).
The public could learn how many cases military judges had handled during the Martial Law period, as well as how many cases then-president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) intervened in, for example by changing prison sentences to death penalties, it said.
The database only includes those who went to court and does not include the victims of the massacre, so painter Chen Cheng-po (陳澄波) and lawyer Tang Te-chang (湯德章), who were executed without a trial, are not included, the committee said.
The 228 Massacre refers to a crackdown launched by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime against civilian demonstrators following an incident in Taipei on Feb. 27, 1947. The event also marked the beginning of the White Terror era, during which thousands of people were arrested, imprisoned or executed.
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