The National Human Rights Museum in Taipei has unveiled an exhibition on a 1954 incident on Green Island (綠島) during the Martial Law period.
The show focuses on an event at the island’s New Life Correction Center, a detention facility for political prisoners during the White Terror era, the Human Rights museum director Chen Chun-hung (陳俊宏) said on Tuesday.
The White Terror era refers to the suppression of political dissidents, when the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime subsequently imposed martial law, which was only lifted on July 15, 1987.
Photo provided by the National Human Rights Museum
The incident occurred after political prisoners refused to cooperate in a KMT propaganda scheme, which required them to write letters in blood and receive tattoos praising the government’s success in “re-educating” them, Chen said.
The military then ordered a retrial of the prisoners, and raised the sentences of 14 to capital punishment, Chen added.
Although some former political prisoners tried to shed light on the incident after martial law was lifted, it was largely forgotten, Chen said.
Through recordings and historical documents, the museum wants to draw attention to human rights abuses in the name of national security, the director said.
Recordings of interviews with survivors are juxtaposed with declassified government files to give insight into the story, as well as to commemorate the lives lost during that period, curator Lin Fu-kai (林傳凱) said.
The exhibition “Huge Waves Arrive — Revealing the truths and redressing the case of ‘re-rebellion’ at the New Life Correction Center on Green Island” (大浪襲來 — 綠島新生訓導處「再叛亂案」的真相與平反) opened on Friday last week and ends on April 25 next year in Green Island’s White Terror Memorial Park.
Lectures on the topic are to be held in New Taipei City’s Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum is also offering a 360-degree virtual tour of the show on their Web site.
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