Taiwan grants reparations to victims of political persecution

Taiwan grants reparations to victims of political persecution

Taipei, Feb. 24 (CNA) A government foundation on Friday approved 13 applications for reparations for harm suffered due to political persecution during the nation’s authoritarian past, totaling NT$34.17 million (US$1.14 million).

All the 13 applications were filed with the Restoration of Victim’s Rights Infringed by Illegal Acts of the State During the Period of Authoritarian Rule Foundation, with the largest sum granted being NT$7.36 million, the foundation said in a press release.

The cases submitted to the foundation showed how severely the rights of people were infringed under authoritarian ruling, with one claimant being deprived of civil rights for 10 years and sentenced to 15 years because the victim had read some leftist books, it said.

In another case, an individual who was found to have painted slogans in the toilet of a theater in Hsinchu during the period was jailed for seven years in line with the now-abolished Punishment of Rebellion Act, according to the foundation.

According to legislation enacted by the Legislature in 2022, based on which the foundation was established, authoritarian rule refers to the period from Aug. 15, 1945 to Nov. 6, 1992 when martial law imposed since 1949 was lifted in Kinmen and Matsu, five years after the lifting of the law on Taiwan proper.

The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) started to provide redress to victims in the late 1990s when late Kuomintang President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) was in office, but at that time the measure was characterized under the related statutes as “compensation” rather than “reparations.”

Separately, the Ministry of Justice said Friday that it has decided to overturn the criminal charges against 420 individuals wrongfully convicted during the authoritarian era following a review of the cases, according to a press release.

The ministry will inform relevant agencies of the need to expunge the criminal records of the 420 individuals in all documents kept by the government to restore the reputation for the victims and their families as part of the ongoing process of delivering transitional justice, it said.

Source : FocusTaiwan