Ministry of National Defense Military Prison (Ankeng, Hsintien) 1950~1987

In the 1950s, most political prisoners were sent to Green Island, but there were several 

hundred who were held at the Ankeng Branch of the Martial Law Section’s Military Prison in Hsintien. The Hsintien facility mainly held military offenders, but sometimes the prison authorities would throw political prisoners and military personnel together in the same cell so that close watch could be kept over them.  

   

In early 1953, with the end of the Korean War, the authorities at the Green Island New Life Correction Center carried out their “one-person-one-task conscientious national rescue movement,” forcing the inmates to accept tattoos with such political slogans as “Oppose Communism, Resist Russia.” The movement failed. The prisoners sent back from Green Island one after another were placed in either the Ankeng Prison or the Martial Law Section. In April 1953, 14 people on Green Island were executed for their part in the “Rebellion in Prison Case.” In May 1953, there was a similar rebellion in Ankeng Prison, and 15 instigators, after a series of trials lasting eight years, were executed one after the other. The 29 people who were shot for their part in the two prison uprisings came from all over Taiwan and various provinces of China. Many were the tragedies hidden away the dark corners of this political penal system. According to oral testimony, the early period of the military prison administration was especially harsh, with many political prisoners suffering lifelong pain from the results of inhumane treatment that went untreated. 

In Ankeng Military Prison they had the same system of outside labor. A coal mine was started near by. Liu Ming was requested to take charge of the work there. He was also assigned to go to the upper reaches of the Hsintien River to gather stones. As reported in a 2 October 1956 official file, the military personnel inmates assigned to outside work outnumbered the political prisoners. Their labor included: coal production, tea farms, laundry and dying plants, stonework details, and construction at the Tapinglin site. With the onset of the 1960s, some political prisoners who received international attention, were able to complete writing projects there, among them Lei Chen, who completed his Memoirs of Lei Chen. 

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