Criminal record of renowned novelist Yang Kui to be expunged

12/08/2018 11:14 PM
Image taken from Pixabay
Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Dec. 8 (CNA) The record of Taiwanese novelist Yang Kui (楊逵), who was imprisoned by the Kuomintang (KMT) government from 1949 to 1961, will be expunged on Sunday as he has been categorized as a victim of political persecution, an official with the Transitional Justice Commission said Saturday.

The move is part of the work of the Transitional Justice Commission, which has already expunged the records of 1,270 people it said were victims of political persecution.

Yang's name will be among the 1,505 that will be removed from the country's criminal records on Sunday in the second round of such actions by the commission, said Yang's granddaughter Yang Tsui (楊翠), who is now acting head of the Transitional Justice Commission.

Yang Kui was imprisoned in 1949 for publishing a "Declaration of Peace," a document that called on the government to release political prisoners who had been arrested during a brutal crackdown by the KMT after an anti-government uprising on Feb. 28, 1947 that left an estimated 18,000-28,000 people dead.

In the 600-word article, Yang Kui also said that the local governments should be given full autonomy and allowed to embrace freedom of speech, which provoked Chen Cheng (陳誠), head of the then-Taiwan Provincial Government.

Yang Tsui said the removal of Yang Kui's criminal record means a lot to her family, especially her parents and others of that generation.

"(They can) now make peace with themselves," Yang Tsui said, adding that Yang Kui's five children, some of whom are in their 80s, have been haunted by the white terror era.

She said she hopes that government's efforts on Sunday to expunge the criminal records of 1,505 victims of political persecution will help her family members find peace.

Yang Kui, who passed away in 1985 at the age 79, was best known for his work, "The Newspaper Man."

On May 31, the Cabinet established the Transitional Justice Commission to investigate actions taken by the KMT between Aug. 15, 1945 and Nov. 6, 1992, and to implement transitional justice measures set forth under the law so as to rebuild historical truth and promote social reconciliation.

Over the next four months, the commission will continue to work to expunge the records of some 10,000 victims of political persecution.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Lee Hsin-Yin)


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