President Tsai Ing-wen led the opening ceremony of the National Human Rights Museum at Green Island White Terror Memorial Park on May 17. In attendance were some 80-plus victims of political persecution and their relatives, who stood witness to this momentous milestone for human rights in Taiwan.
President Tsai expressed her hope that the museum would galvanize human rights education in Taiwan by raising more public awareness and helping government agencies in the promotion of such education.
She pointed out that this is the first museum in Asia dedicated to human rights built around sites that had been core to the violation of such rights, and that Taiwan will engage the world through human rights diplomacy to affirm how Taiwan is a country deeply committed to reflecting on and protecting these universal, inalienable rights.
Faced with the expectations of former political victims for the realization of transitional justice, President Tsai promised also that the Transitional Justice Promotion Committee will formally begin its work soon.
She stated that the victims had waited long enough for the nation to make amends for their sacrifices, adding that it is the nation's duty to investigate mistakes made during the period of authoritarian rule and to determine how harm was done and who should be held responsible.
Minister Cheng Li-chiun said that the government is committed to promoting transitional justice and pursuing historical truth in order to address the injustices suffered by victims and reinforce the roots of Taiwan's democracy.
The National Human Rights Museum will be an essential part of revitalizing the sites of past tragedies, fostering research on governance in the authoritarian era, and promoting human rights education.
Being based in both the Jing-Mei and Green Island White Terror Memorial Parks, the museum ties together these icons of historical injustice as it encourages and supports education and international exchange in the field of human rights.