The Transitional Justice Commission has overturned criminal charges against 12 people persecuted during the White Terror era, bringing the commission’s total exonerations to 5,874.
Criminal rulings against Lin Chia-tien (林家田), Huang Hua (黃華), Lin Shui-chuan (林水泉), Lu Kuo-min (呂國民), Wu Wen-chiu (吳文就) and Yen Yin-mo (顏尹謨) are to be overturned, with all punitive measures rescinded, and confiscated properties and assets to be returned, the commission said on Tuesday.
Additionally, charges against Huang, Liu Yun-chou (劉運籌), Ma Chih-chien (馬志堅), Ho Chung-li (賀中立), Chao Ko-chi (趙克己), Tu Hsiao-sheng (杜孝生) and Liao Li-chuan (廖立川) have also been overturned, based on Article 6 of the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例), the commission said.
Huang and late democracy advocate Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕) — who set himself on fire in 1989 as police tried to arrest him — had been convicted of sedition, each receiving a 10-year prison sentence.
From 1989 to 1996, Huang was the head of the “New Nation” movement, which called for Taiwanese independence and changing the nation’s official name from the Republic of China (ROC) to include the word “Taiwan.”
He was arrested in 1990 after announcing his intention to run for president, placing billboards along Taipei’s Roosevelt Road that read: “Long live the Republic of Taiwan” and “Taiwan for independence.”
The commission said that Huang was using peaceful means to state his political ideology and arresting him on sedition charges was an overinterpretation of the Punishment of Rebellion Act (懲治叛亂條例), abolished in 1991.
Huang’s arrest was an infringement on his freedoms of speech and thought, and breached the principles of a democratic system, an infringement the commission is attempting to right under the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice, the commission said.
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