Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday paid tribute to murdered professor Chen Wen-chen (陳文成) to commemorate the 31st anniversary of his passing.
The two senior DPP officials posted tributes to Chen on their Facebook pages and highlighted the significance of Chen’s death during the White Terror era to the nation’s democratic development.
An assistant statistics professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a supporter of the Taiwanese democracy movement, Chen returned to Taiwan in July 1981 to visit his family and was found dead on the campus of National Taiwan University (NTU) on the morning of July 3 after being interrogated by the Taiwan Garrison Command the previous day.
Some suspected Chen was tortured to death by the Taiwan Garrison Command. The garrison command denied the allegation and said Chen could have committed suicide or accidentally fallen off a balcony.
“The truth has not been discovered and the murderers have not yet been identified after 31 years,” Su said.
“As we are breathing the fresh air of freedom and democracy 25 years after the end of the Martial Law era, the corruption and abuse of power remain under the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] administration,” he said.
Tsai chose to remember Chen in a more indirect way, saying that “many scars have not healed yet.”
The process of the Taiwanese people’s fight for freedom and democracy is like one’s wait for dawn after a long dark night, she said.
“The development of freedom and democracy is an irreversible process, as well as a people’s life choice. Hopefully, those in power will keep people’s tears and scars in mind and always remember people’s thirst for freedom and democracy,” Tsai wrote.
On Monday night, hundreds of people and students gathered at the location where Chen’s body was found for a memorial ceremony. They paid tribute to Chen and protested against the NTU’s refusal to establish a memorial monument for the professor.