30 years ago, Taiwan lifted the martial law, and that historic moment marked the first and major step for democratization on the island. 30 years later, victims of past government persecution are trying to remind the nation that the lifting of the martial law isn't so much an act of kindness and generosity on the part of the state, but something that would not have been possible, but for the hardwork, sacrifice and struggle by many before us.
==SHAW YU-MING Former Director General, Government Information Office==
Starting from July 15, 1987, Taiwan area is to lift the martial law.
On July 15, 1987, exactly 30 years ago, Taiwan put an end to 38 years of martial law. The public was no longer banned from visiting their relatives in mainland China and the ban on forming political parties and issuing newspapers was lifted.
Before the end of the martial law, people's freedom were repressed. For instance, a song sung in Taiwanese was banned because of its grim lyrics depicting post-war poverty, but even further from the public's reach were their rights to assemble and organize political parties.
In the 1950s, Lei Chen issued the Free China Journal and advocated for the freedom to form political parties, but his founding of the China Democratic Party in 1960 landed him in jail on charges of espionage. And that was it. The first attempt to form a political party outside of the KMT ended in failure.
Later in the 1970s, publications like the Taiwan Political Review and Formosa Magazine were created and began to attract and gather political forces outside the KMT. Soon this led to a new wave of democracy movement that culminated in the 1979 Formosa Incident, where dissidents who would later become founding members of the DPP were arrested, trialled and convicted of sedition. Many of them were put in jail, but their actions inspired more Taiwanese to fight for democracy and human rights.
Finally in 1987, former President Chiang Ching-kuo announced the end of martial rule amid intensifying political movements and demonstrations at home and increasing pressure from international society.
At an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial law, victims of past government persecution, known as White Terror, emphasized that democracy is not a gift handed down from the government.
==TSAI KUN-LIN White Terror Victim==
They said it was Chiang Ching-kuo's lifting of martial law 30 years ago that contributes to Taiwan's democracy and freedom today. I think it's just nonsense.
The lifting of the martial law ushered in Taiwan's democracy, but it only happened thanks to those who fought and struggled hard for it.
TRANSLATED BY：BRYANT CHANG
記者 黃怡菁 郭俊麟 綜合報導
END OF MARTIAL LAW RULE MARKS FIRST STEP TO DEMOCRATIZATION IN TAIWAN|台灣解嚴30年 由威權體制邁向民主自由
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