Taipei, The Transitional Justice Commission (TJC) said Thursday that it will meet next week with the relevant government agencies to talk about the declassification of several files related to highprofile political persecution during Taiwan's White Terror era.
An invitation to the meeting was sent out Wednesday to several government agencies that are in possession of about 2,000 such files, including those on the mysterious death of democracy advocate Chen Wenchen in 1981, TJC spokeswoman Yeh Hunglin told CNA.
"Many of the government agencies responded quickly to the invitation, telling us that they would be willing to declassify the files," Yeh said, expressing optimism that the issue will be resolved at next week's meeting.
Chen, an associate professor at U.S.based Carnegie Mellon University, was found dead on the campus of National Taiwan University on July 3, 1981 during a visit to Taiwan.
According to the Chen Wenchen Memorial Foundation, he was interrogated on the eve of his death by the Taiwan Garrison Command, a unit notorious for suppressing activities viewed as promoting democracy during Taiwan's period of martial law, which started in 1949 and lasted for decades.
Yeh said other classified information held by the government agencies include files on the 1979 Formosa Incident and the "Lin family massacre," which were highprofile political cases during the White Terror era, a period of violent suppression of political dissidents that followed an antigovernment uprising in 1947.
The Formosa Incident refers to clashes between police and protesters at a demonstration organized by Formosa Magazine in Kaohsiung on Dec. 10, 1979 to commemorate Human Rights Day and to call for democracy in Taiwan. The protesters were teargassed and many were later imprisoned.
The following year, Lin Yihsiung who years later became chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), led a prodemocracy protest against the Kuomintang (KMT) regime, which allegedly resulted in the stabbing deaths of his mother and 7yearold twin daughters on Feb. 28, 1980.
The declassification of the files on those incidents of alleged political persecution and others has been part of the current DPP administration's efforts to achieve transitional justice.
Yeh said the TJC will continue its negotiations with the National Security Bureau (NSB), which falls under the Presidential Office's National Security Council, on the declassification of the files on the three highprofile political cases.
The NSB had already allowed TJC staff to view the files even before the Legislature on July 4 passed an act that would allow declassification and archiving of files on political cases that occurred during Taiwan's period of authoritarian rule, according to Yeh.
"Even though the government had launched several investigations into the cases, there were classified files that could not be accessed," she said.
With the signing of the act into law on Wednesday by President Tsai Ingwen the TJC is hoping to closely examine the NSB files and shed new light on old cases of political persecution, according to Yeh.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel