Premier orders handover of White Terror files

Premier orders handover of White Terror files

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Premier Simon Chang on Tuesday ordered the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau to review its files about the White Terror era and to hand them over to the National Archives Administration.
The premier’s statement was the latest development in the case of a private citizen, named as Mr. Wei, whose home was searched by the military police without a warrant after he had reportedly sought to sell documents about the White Terror online. The period of repression following the 228 Incident in 1947 is widely known as the White Terror, with many opponents of the government and suspects being executed, disappeared or jailed.
During the premier’s question time at the Legislative Yuan Tuesday, Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Lee Chun-yi remarked that according to legislation about archives, all documents from the authoritarian period should be in the hands of the NAA. However, when he asked them if that was the case with the MJIB, officials said that they were unable to provide him with a precise answer, Lee said.
The legislator demanded the review and the handover of the files by the MJIB should be completed within two months.
As a result of Lee’s question, Chang promised the review should start immediately, and whatever should be handed over to the NAA would be. Justice Minister Luo Ying-shay said her ministry would act quickly.
MJIB officials said they were acting according to the law, and had been handing over documents since the current legislation on archives was passed in 2002. Next May, the body would transfer another batch of files about 397 cases to the NAA, reports said. Most of the cases concerned dissidents and people accused of communist sympathies during the Martial Law era. A total of 608 files on similar topics had already been transferred, according to the MJIB.
The case surrounding Wei provoked a public uproar, fostering accusations that the military police was behaving as if the White Terror era and Martial Law never ended. In addition to the search without a warrant, questions were also asked about a document Wei reportedly signed of his own accord agreeing to the search.
About a dozen officers were disciplined by the military and later listed as defendants by prosecutors investigating the matter.