The Transitional Justice Commission yesterday posthumously exonerated five prison inmates who were executed after the 1970 Taiyuan Prison Insurrection.
The five Taiwan independence advocates, held at the prison in Taitung County, seized weapons and broke out of the facility, but were later captured.
They hoped to lead an uprising against the nation’s military dictatorship and proclaim independence, said Kao Chin-lang (高金郎), who was a political prisoner in Taiyuan Prison at the time of the insurrection
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Kao has for several years organized events to commemorate the five inmates — Cheng Chin-ho (鄭金河), Chiang Ping-hsing (江炳興), Chen Liang (陳良), Chan Tien-tseng (詹天增) and Hsieh Tung-jung (謝東榮) — who were executed on May 30, 1970, after a short military trial.
A sixth prisoner, Cheng Cheng-cheng (鄭正成), who was involved in the insurrection, evaded being executed as the five claimed he had been their hostage.
The commission yesterday exonerated the five of all criminal charges.
Chiang’s younger sister, Chiang Yueh-wei (江月瑋), broke down in tears following the announcement of his exoneration at a news conference held by the commission in Taipei.
“Our whole family is honored by my uncle’s sacrifice,” Chiang Yueh-wei’s son said.
Former political prisoner Tsai Kuan-yu (蔡寬裕) thanked the commission for the exonerations, calling it the “return of justice to Taiwanese society.”
The commission said that the five saved several fellow prisoners who were involved in planning the insurrection by refusing to reveal their names.
“The ruling in this insurrection case was based on then-president Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) will — it was a breach of the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and the constitutional rights of these men,” the commission said.
Their actions were at the time determined to contravene Article 100 of the Criminal Code — sanctioning sedition — which resulted in the revocation of their rights and freedoms, including their right to resist and to express their political views, it said.
COMMUNICATION: A US representative said that Starshield is inactive in and around Taiwan, which could put US military personnel at risk in the Western Pacific in a conflict Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) might have contravened its Pentagon contract by not providing access to its satellite communication network Starshield in and around Taiwan, a letter from a US House of Representatives committee to the company said. In September last year, the US Department of Defense awarded SpaceX a one-year contract for Starshield access, worth US$100 million. A few months before that, the Pentagon also commissioned SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network to be used by Ukrainian forces amid Russia’s invasion. Starshield is a derivative of Starlink intended for military use. SpaceX has long worked closely with the US military and intelligence agencies, which
TWO REPORTS: The body called on EU states to support the meaningful participation of Taiwan in international organizations, as well as closer cooperation with the nation The European Parliament has backed deepening ties with Taiwan and voiced concern about heightened tension across the Taiwan Strait in reports on two major security policies, which include a passage denying that Taiwan is subordinate to China. The parliament adopted the annual report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy in a vote of 338 in favor, 86 against and 122 abstentions during a plenary session from Monday to yesterday. It also passed the annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defense Policy in a vote of 350 in favor, 91 against and 96 abstentions. “Neither Taiwan
WAR GAMES: While US and Japanese militaries practice coordinating troops to stage landings, Taiwan is next month to test artillery and uncrewed aerial surveillance vehicles The US Marine Corps and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force have begun a military drill to simulate the retaking of outlying islands in Kyushu and Okinawa Prefecture in a conflict scenario, the Sankei Shimbun reported yesterday. The drill, commonly known as “Iron Fist,” has been held in the US since 2006 before being moved to Japan for the first time this year, it said. The large-scale operations are conducted with a possible “Taiwan emergency” in mind, aiming to keep China in check, it said. Unlike last year’s exercises, which focused on on-site training, this year’s maneuvers include strategy formulation and command for each
NEVER FORGET: Feb. 28 is a day to demand justice and redress, and remember the long, hard road Taiwanese walked to democracy, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che said President-elect William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said he would work to safeguard the nation’s security and democracy to ensure freedom and economic prosperity, and that the tragic events of the 228 Incident “never happen in Taiwan again.” The Incident refers to the indiscriminate killing of a person in a crowd on Feb. 27, 1947, and the gunning down by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government of protesters at a resulting demonstration the next day. It was followed by a brutal crackdown. Estimates of the number of eventual deaths vary from 10,000 to more than 30,000. The Incident was closely followed by the White