President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday laid out goals for the Transitional Justice Commission during a ceremony in Taipei for 100 victims of political persecution who have received pardons.
Speaking at the ceremony, Tsai said she hoped the commission could speed up investigations into political persecutions, uncover facts surrounding the events of the White Terror era, compensate victims or their families, eliminate symbols of authoritarianism and care for surviving victims.
Transitional justice has been crucial to strengthening Taiwan’s democracy, she said.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
“This is our mission, and we must accomplish it together,” she said.
Tsai apologized to the victims for their long wait for justice.
The ceremony commemorated the repeal of 105 charges against 100 people, 26 of whom have not yet received compensation.
The commission’s efforts over the past three years — during which it has been collecting evidence on cases compiled into a database — was a “race against time,” Tsai said.
The commission has removed or relocated more than 400 symbols of authoritarianism, and is establishing a legal framework for the conservation of historic relics deemed symbols of injustice, she said.
Helping to rebuild trust among older Taiwanese was important to the commission’s efforts, she said, adding that the commission was reaching out to them through social activities and online programs.
The commission was also working with long-term care providers to help people who lived through the era to recognize the signs of trauma from political violence, she said.
Although cases were being reopened, uncovering accurate facts was a great challenge, given the passage of time, she said.
While it is difficult to identify or prosecute perpetrators of political persecution from the era, the commission would do its best to identify the harm done to victims, and use that information to establish politically just policies and legal systems, and to compensate them, she said.
All arms of the government have a responsibility to participate, she added.
Award-winning Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) pop singer Hsieh Ming-yu (謝銘祐) performed at the ceremony, which was also attended by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠).
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