President Tsai stresses Taiwan's resolve over human rights

12/04/2021 05:40 PM
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President Tsai Ing-wen. CNA photo Dec. 4, 2021
President Tsai Ing-wen. CNA photo Dec. 4, 2021

Taipei, Dec. 4 (CNA) Taiwan will take constant action to protect its democracy, freedom and human rights, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said at a ceremony marking this year's Human Rights Day Saturday.

Accompanied by Control Yuan President Chen Chu (陳菊) and Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得), the president attended a ceremony organized by the National Human Rights Museum at the Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park in New Taipei's Xindian District.

"Taiwan will never forget the lesson learned from our authoritarian past," Tsai said.

The president emphasized that Taiwan would take active measures to preserve its democracy, freedoms and human rights, adding that it would carry this approach over to the international arena.

Tsai said that the Transitional Justice Commission had proposed a draft bill to help recover assets and provide compensation to those convicted of political crimes by Taiwan's former authoritarian government.

"This is the least we can do for our predecessors," Tsai said.

According to the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice, a fund will be established to further transitional justice and human rights education, Tsai said.

Tsai also highlighted the work of the nominally independent Control Yuan-affiliated National Human Rights Commission, which was formed last year and recently published a report on foreign fishermen's rights.

Tsai said it was the government's responsibility to protect human rights, be it transitional justice, labor rights, or the rights of children, adding that the National Human Rights Commission would continue its work as well as start conversations and collaboration with other civil society partners.

The ceremony was also attended by nearly 200 former political prisoners and their families, including Cheng Ching-lung (鄭慶隆), who was among the first cohort of convicts sent to Green Island in 1951.

Tsai said that Cheng's story moved her, going on to note that former political prisoners had been left with permanent scars, adding that it was the current generation's responsibility to ensure such actions were not repeated.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Ken Wang)


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