Chiang Kai-shek participated in over 4,000 political trials: TJC

02/26/2021 09:40 PM
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Late President Chiang Kai-shek. CNA file photo
Late President Chiang Kai-shek. CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 26 (CNA) Trials of political cases reached their peak in the 1950s and the late President Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) participated in more than 4,000 of them, according to the Transitional Justice Commission (TJC).

In an event showcasing the accomplishments of the TJC in establishing a database of politically motivated cases, commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠) said that a total of 13,268 cases have so far been compiled in the database, which was launched on Feb. 26 last year.

Three former presidents were among the major decision makers in these political cases -- Chiang, Yen Chia-kan (嚴家淦) and Chiang's son Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), according to TJC data.

Chiang Kai-shek, who fled with his Kuomintang (KMT) government to Taiwan in 1949 after being defeated by the communists in the Chinese civil war, participated in court procedures 4,101 times, the most of all major decision makers, according to TJC data.

TJC data also shows that among those tried for political reasons during the authoritarian regimes between 1949 and 1991, 96.27 percent were male and 3.73 percent were female.

Fifty-five percent of those brought to trial were native-born Taiwanese, while the rest were born in China. In terms of age, the youngest of the accused was just 11 years old, while the oldest was 84.

Nearly 51 percent of the political cases were decided in court in the 1950s, the data shows.

A total of 1,153 of the accused were sentenced to death, 169 were given life imprisonment, 1,628 were sentenced to jail terms of more than 10 years but less than 15 years and 1,498 were given more than five years but less than 10 years.

The TJC event was held in the run-up to the 74th anniversary of the 228 Incident, which is today a symbol of Taiwan's authoritarian past.

Meanwhile, TJC Vice Chairwoman Yeh Hung-lin (葉虹靈) said during the same event that about 25 percent of the symbols of authoritarianism have been eliminated since the commission was established in May 2018.

Most of the remaining symbols are concentrated in establishments handled by the military and the Veterans Affairs Council, making it difficult for the TJC to deal with them, Yeh said.

However, she added that she will soon pay a call on newly appointed Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) to discuss the issue.

The symbols of authoritarianism referred to include statues of autocratic rulers and military rites in honor of autocratic figures, as well as structures or sites in memory of autocratic figures.

(By Chen Chun-hua and Emerson Lim)


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