Victims of political persecution yesterday urged the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to expedite passage of a transitional justice bill and give justice to aging survivors of the White Terror era, instead of delaying it in favor of budget bills.
A draft bill on the promotion of transitional justice that was proposed on April 1 last year calls for the establishment of an agency to tackle the issue, declassify political archives, seek to uncover the truth, restore the reputation of political victims, remove authoritarian symbols and settle ill-gotten party asset issues.
However, the draft bill was shelved after being approved by a legislative committee, as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) proposed extending the bill’s application beyond the Martial Law era to the Japanese colonial period, while Aboriginal lawmakers called for the inclusion of Aboriginal transitional justice in the bill.
Photo: Chu Pei -hsiung, Taipei Times
The Taiwan Association for the Care of the Victims of Political Persecution and other human rights groups held a news conference in front of the DPP’s headquarters in Taipei to call for swift passage of the bill.
“Since the DPP administration took office last year, more than 30 victims of political persecution have passed away and more than 16,000 victims are still waiting for the day when the truth is revealed and injustice redressed,” association secretary-general Shih You-si (施又熙) said.
“The biggest enemy of transitional justice is time,” Shih added.
The DPP administration has passed the Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations (政黨及其附隨組織不當取得財產處理條例), but delayed passage of the transitional justice bill, raising questions whether the party’s advocacy of transitional justice is politically motivated, Taiwan Association of University Professors member Chen Li-fu (陳俐甫) said.
DPP Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) told the petitioners that the party supports the passage of the bill, but it has been hampered by a lack of consensus among political parties, despite three rounds of cross-caucus negotiations.
The association said that Hsu later met with the petitioners at the DPP’s headquarters and told them that while the party is prepared to put the bill to a vote despite the disagreement with the KMT, the priorities of this legislative session are the budget bills.
Review of the transitional justice bill would have to be delayed until the next session, Hsu said.
Taiwan Association for the Care of the Victims of Political Persecution honorary director Tsai Kuan-yu (蔡寬裕) was dissatisfied with the DPP’s response, saying the group would continue to campaign for its cause despite the setbacks.
A recently discovered supernova is the brightest and closest to Earth identified in the past decade, and can be observed with basic equipment, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said on Wednesday. The supernova has an absolute magnitude of 14.9 in luminosity and is in the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) about 21 million light-years from Earth. It was discovered early on May 20 by Japanese amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki, who immediately reported the finding to the International Astronomical Union, the museum said. The supernova was designated SN 2023ixf following the astronomical naming conventions for supernovas, it added. The museum said that it observed
Tropical storm Guchol is moving in a northeasterly direction off the east coast of the Philippines and will not hit Taiwan, but will impact local weather starting on Friday, the Central Weather Bureau said Thursday. The storm would bring a low-pressure system northward toward the vicinity of Taiwan, forecaster Chao Hung (趙竑) said. Northern Taiwan will see intermittent rain showers in the morning, and thunderstorms in the afternoon on Friday, he said, adding that rain would be heavier on the east coast and in the central-southern mountainous areas. Rainfall would continue into Saturday, and would spread throughout Taiwan proper, he
Exiled Chinese democracy advocate Wang Dan (王丹) yesterday denied an accusation by former Taiwanese political worker Lee Yuan-chun (李援軍) that Wang had sexually harassed him in a hotel room in New York nine years ago. There was a huge gap between Lee’s accusation and his own understanding and memory, Wang wrote on Facebook, adding it was hard for him to respond further regarding a “unilateral description” made by someone else. Wang made the remarks after his initial response on Facebook was met with criticism, with people saying he did not directly address the allegation. Lee on Friday wrote on Facebook that he
A man was arrested in Hsinchu on Saturday on suspicion of filming women in the women’s washroom of a shopping mall in the city, local Chinese-language media reported on Thursday. The man was arrested at around noon on Saturday when a woman using a stall in the mall’s washroom noticed a cellphone being held above her from the neighboring stall, reports said. The woman ran out of the washroom and yelled to her husband to help her, after which the suspect – who was dressed as a woman – attempted to flee, but was subdued by other men until police