Commission proposes more compensation for past gov’t wrongdoing

  • 13 January, 2021
  • John Van Trieste
The Transitional Justice Commission

The Transitional Justice Commission has proposed raising the amount of compensation given to victims of government wrongdoing during Taiwan’s period under authoritarian rule.

Between the end of WWII and the late 1980’s, Taiwan was governed as an authoritarian state. The period was marked by widespread human rights abuses and persecution of dissidents. Notable events of the era include the bloody 228 Massacre of 1947 and the declaration of martial law in 1949. Martial law was only lifted on Taiwan proper in 1987, and on outlying islands, not until 1992.

Victims of persecution, violence, and other wrongs perpetrated by the government during these years are already entitled to compensation. But the Transitional Justice Commission, which seeks to redress the wrongs of the authoritarian era, is now proposing to increase the amount they can receive.

The new bill sets new standards for what those wrongfully imprisoned or those whose relatives were executed for political reasons can expect to receive.

Many have already received compensation from the government. The bill specifies that these victims will only be entitled to whatever money they have not already received.

The commission estimates the bill will entitle around 10,000 victims of injustice to at least some compensation. The commission estimates the total number to be paid out under the bill would amount to NT$20 billion (US$714 million).

The bill also lays out restitution measures for those whose land was unfairly seized by the government during the authoritarian period. The commission expects further payouts to at least some victims who fall into this non-political category.

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