Unjust sentences to be repealed by May

TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE::Up to 35% of authoritarian-era political cases would be annulled by November, while people sent to re-education would have to wait, the commission said

By Chen Yu-fu  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Sep 09, 2018 - Page 3

The Transitional Justice Commission yesterday said that it would repeal all charges against people whose civic rights have been restored or who have received official compensation for unjust trials during the authoritarian era before June next year.

The commission briefed families of poeple who were political prisoners during the White Terror era on the government’s progress on transitional justice and solicited views on the process during a meeting at the National Human Rights Museum in Taipei.

All miscarriages of justice are to be publicly repealed by Feb. 28 next year, with the exception of the 25 percent of cases where people were sent to “re-education,” which did not require formal sentencing, commission deputy chairman Chang Tien-chin (張天欽) said.

Twenty-five to 35 percent of all cases would be annulled by the end of November, he said.

By May 31 next year, all cases — including re-education cases and those whose defendants have been exonerated and compensated — are to be officially repealed, with the convictions annulled, he said.

The former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime violently cracked down on dissidents during the 228 Massacre and the White Terror era, when it arrested, unjustly tried and executed people, he said.

“The oppression of the authoritarian past has no place in the wave of democratization in Taiwan,” Chang said. “We will ensure that transitional justice is realized to live up to public expectations.”

Regarding efforts to catalogue historical sites of injustice, museum director Chen Chun-hung (陳俊宏) said that 45 sites were identified in the first phase and the second phase is expected to add 18 more to the list.

A Web site introducing historical sites of injustice would be launched by the end of this year, he added.

Meanwhile, commission member Yeh Hung-ling (葉虹靈) said that the commission this week issued a notice to the KMT requiring that it declare relevant documents in its historical archives within a month.

The KMT yesterday requested a one-month grace period for declaring the files, which the committee granted, she said, adding that the party should compile inventories of political files in its possession and should not move any file stored in its historical archives without first declaring it to the commission.

KMT political files related to human rights violations must be published, Formosan Political Prisoner Association honorary president and White Terror victim Tsai Kuan-yu (蔡寬裕) said.

He called on the commission to reveal the names of perpetrators and responsible law enforcers in the files it gathered to help families of victims understand who were behind the acts of injustice.

Commission member Peng Jen-yu (彭仁郁) said that the commission is planning to run a trial of “political trauma counseling” to help victims of the authoritarian past and their families process traumas associated with state violence.