ACCESSING ARCHIVES:White Terror era researchers say that transitional justice is not just about tearing down Chiang Kai-shek statues, but about piecing together the past
Date: Mar 15, 2016
By: Alison Hsiao / Staff reporter
The military police searching the home of a civilian selling White Terror era
documents without a warrant last month have sparked a public uproar, bringing back memories of an authoritarian regime where people were arbitrarily accused of being communists or rebels.
Just weeks before the scandal, the term “transitional justice” had grabbed the headlines in the form of cries urging the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to return its ill-gotten wealth. However, for some people, such as Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女), the term means much more.
Yu has just refocused the public’s attention on a draft legislation on overseeing the archives of political persecution cases when the farce played out by the military took place.
Yu first proposed the bill in 2012 — which was co-drafted with the Taiwan Association for Truth and Reconciliation (TATR) and modeled on the Stasi Records Act passed by Germany in 1991 — but the motion was blocked at least 74 times by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers in the Procedure Committee, preventing it from being referred to a legislative committee for deliberation.
Asked about the urgency of drafting a law on overseeing the political archives when there is an Archives Act (檔案法), Yu said that a political archives act, if promulgated, would ensure greater transparency, as well as better collection and organization of files relating to the 228 Incident and the White Terror era. [FULL STORY]