The White Terror and Political Prisons

During Taiwan’s long 38 years of martial law, civilians were tried in the martial law system’s military courts. Political prisoners had to go through arrest, interrogation, torture, and trial, followed by carrying out of sentence, release, and monitoring within society. In 1986, with the rise in social opposition to martial law, there came various social movements, including the drive to end martial law, the movements for democratization and direct election of the president, not to mention the people’s liberation struggle to gain their freedom, social rights and economic rights. The variegated tapestry of state abridgement of human rights and the people’s fight for them was an interwearing of the course of historical change and the cell space of the political prisoner.

After 2000, the Taiwan Human Rights Green Island Park was established where Green Island prisoners had once been held. (Opened on 10 December 2002, it is known as the Green Island Human Rights Memorial Park.) On 10 December 2007 the Taiwan Human Rights Jingmei Park was opened at the site of the former military prison ( Jingmei). These symbolize the transformation of the historical sites of political imprisonment into human rights museums in a democratic society, providing a place where citizens can experience history and educate themselves.


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