TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park, as part of the National Human Rights Museum, was inaugurated Friday, with a series of exhibitions and cultural events promoting human rights and democracy kicking off simultaneously.
The 3.64-hectare memorial park was once a place where many political victims during the authoritarian regime of the Martial Law era were held in custody, prosecuted, put on trial, sentenced, and imprisoned.
After nearly seven years of preparation, the National Human Rights Museum, following the passing of the National Human Rights Museum Organization Act by the legislature in 2017, was officially inaugurated on May 17 and 18 at respectively two of its designated sites, the Green Island White Terror Memorial Park and Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park.
Premier William Lai (賴清德) said the establishment of the National Human Rights Museum served as a commemoration to former political prisoners whose experiences and stories continued to move people to tears.
Lai said the museum, founded by the authorities, not only showed the courage of Taiwanese society in facing up to its history, but also demonstrated the government’s commitment of not returning to an authoritarian regime, reported ETToday.
Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) said the establishment of the National Human Rights Museum was the beginning of responsibility and duty.
Cheng reiterated what she said at Thursday’s inauguration ceremony at the Green Island White Terror Memorial Park that the museum would work with the Transitional Justice Promotion Committee on a series of tasks, including preserving sites related to political prosecution during the Martial Law era.
It would also be committed to uncovering political documents and promoting human rights education, added Cheng.
The Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park (formally known as the Jing-Mei Human Rights Memorial and Cultural Park), including the former Military Court, First Court, and detention centers, was listed by the authorities as a historic site in 2007, and after the renovation work was completed in the same year, it became a venue where exhibitions and cultural events were held.
As of now, the memorial park is subordinate to the National Human Rights Museum, the first national-level museum in Asia dedicated to promoting human rights on sites where gross violations of human rights used to occur.