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Taiwan to start human rights fund with ill-gotten KMT assets

With over NT$1 billion partly recovered from illegal KMT assets, fund will handle PTSD treatments for White Terror victims

Sign for Transitional Justice Commission in Taipei. (TJC photo)

Sign for Transitional Justice Commission in Taipei. (TJC photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Cabinet is said to have approved the establishment of a fund to help the victims of political persecution during the martial law period and promote social justice, with over NT$1 billion (US$36 million) to be made available to fund the operation.

The fund is expected to officially launch in January following a review at the Legislative Yuan and the recent arrival of the proceeds from a reconciliation deal with Central Motion Pictures Corp. (CMPC Studios, 中影), said Frank Wang (王增勇), a member of the Transitional Justice Commission (TJC), at a forum on Saturday (Nov. 20).

The Taiwanese film company reached an agreement with the TJC in August to pay NT$950 million to the state treasury and transfer ownership of movie productions made prior to mid-2006 in exchange for its total assets, valued at NT$11.8 billion, being unfrozen. The commission filed the asset freeze following a court ruling in late 2018 that the film company had previously been 100% owned by the Kuomintang (KMT) and had unfairly benefited from the support of the party before the country became a full-fledged democracy.

"The fund intended to help the White Terror victims has been planned for years, but it was only recently that the commission could work out a concrete plan after the reconciliation deal was made with CPMC Studios," Wang said. Before the deal, the commission had recovered only some NT$10 million in the first two years since it began operations, in addition to another NT$65 million in the following years, Wang added.

Wang said the payment of NT$950 million was recently honored and that it was about time. The Cabinet recently approved the plan, which will compensate the victims of the White Terror in various ways, such as by funding treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction ensuing from political imprisonment or persecution, advancing human rights, and improvements in quality of the life for the underprivileged.

The fund will also be tasked with expanding the number of victim service centers from four to 12 over the next four years. Currently, there are centers in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, where the most victims are located.

Updated : 2021-12-03 19:21 GMT+08:00