The Taiwan Association of University Professors yesterday urged the government to continue transitional-justice efforts after the Transitional Justice Commission completes its term in May.
The commission was established in May 2018 under the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例).
The Act says that the committee is to expire after completing its tasks within two years, adding that the it could request a one-year extension, which Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) approved in May last year.
Photo: Chien Hui-ju, Taipei Times
At a news conference in Taipei, the association said that transitional justice efforts “must not cease,” as many victims of the White Terror era awaiting justice.
Many of members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) who perpetrated injustices during the era have also avoided responsibility for their crimes, it said.
During the White Terror era, the National Security Bureau recruited informants in schools, companies and other organizations, whose reports on others often led to miscarriages of justice, association deputy chairman Chen Li-fu (陳俐甫) said.
There were also others wrongly accused of being informers, and many who were forced to do so against their will, it said, adding that many documents have not yet been found, which could provide evidence in some people’s defense.
“Those records that remain hidden would implicate those responsible. If the records remain unseen, the guilty could evade responsibility,” it said. “The government must develop a plan for someone to take up the baton from the Transitional Justice Commission.”
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Fan Yun (范雲) said that many of today’s disputes are related to the incomplete nature of transitional justice.
One area where the commission has seen progress is in the pacification of judicial lawlessness, she said, adding that efforts are lagging regarding the removal of symbols of authoritarianism and uncovering historical records.
“The top priority is to define who would finish these tasks. Each competent authority should have a clear direction on this,” she said.
Making government archives fully transparent and accessible to the public would be an important step toward gaining public trust, she said, adding that uncovering historic truths was the only way to achieve reconciliation for victims of past injustices.
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