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President lauds Taiwan's transitional justice efforts at 228 Massacre event

Tsai Ing-wen emphasizes historical truth to commemorate 228 Massacre victims

President Tsai Ing-wen touts progress of Taiwan's transitional justice efforts. (Presidential Office photo)

President Tsai Ing-wen touts progress of Taiwan's transitional justice efforts. (Presidential Office photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday (Feb. 28) reviewed the progress of her administration’s transitional justice efforts while delivering a speech honoring the victims of the 228 Massacre and the White Terror that followed.

Speaking in Tainan, Tsai said that 5,983 convictions deemed illegal have been annulled. This is the first time the nation has cleared the stigma of guilt from political victims, she said.

The Tsai administration has reviewed 7,572 files of political parties during the authoritarian period, the president said. The government will continue to promote the collection, declassification, and research of political archives, which will allow for the historical truth to surface and the reconstruction of the historical memory of the Taiwanese, she said.

Tsai pointed out that the government has approved 42 sites of injustice for “revitalization.” “We not only need to acknowledge the past wrongdoings that happened at these places but also let them become the educational basis of transitional justice,” she said.

Last May, the Transitional Justice Commission (TJC) completed its mission over multiple phases, Tsai said. In September, the Cabinet reviewed the Report on Promoting Transitional Justice, which includes measures already being implemented.

Additionally, an amendment to the Political Archives Act has been proposed as an amendment draft, Tsai said. She expressed the hope that through this act, political files would be released and accessible to the public.

“I hope that relevant bills will be enacted within a year to make the legal system more complete,” Tsai said. She thanked the TJC, Control Yuan, Cabinet, and other non-governmental organizations for their unwavering efforts since 2016 to lay a solid foundation for transitional justice but requested all ministries and organizations to speed up their work.