The establishment of a National Human Rights Museum has been keenly anticipated by Taiwanese society, and by past political prisoners in particular, for over 15 years. With the most vigorous efforts of the state, modern Taiwan can now confront its dark history of human rights, reflect, learn, and move forward to a brighter future.
As well as promoting ongoing collection, research, display, education, and international exchange on archives and materials from the authoritarian period, the National Human Rights Museum will also build support for human rights issues and the development of organizations committed to them. Through this, it will be a key player in Taiwan's realization of its commitment to the universal values of democracy and human rights.
In line with its core missions of displaying historic materials and both educating and serving the public, the museum’s Jing-Mei and Green Island centers have both been renamed as White Terror Memorial Parks. The museum also hosts a Research and Archive Center to facilitate the collection and use of historical materials.
The Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park is located in Xindian District, New Taipei City, and covers 3.64 hectares. Between 1968 and 1992, the site was home to the Taiwan Garrison Command Martial Law Section Detention Center. During martial law, this was where "dissidents" were detained, prosecuted, tried, and imprisoned by the state.
Today, the main focus of the park is the collection of oral histories and the future establishment of an archive. It aims to collect interviews with former political prisoners, photographic records of the period, and relics and information from the White Terror; to restore and preserve historical sites; and to provide education on human rights.
The Green Island White Terror Memorial Park sits on the northeastern corner of Green Island, covering some 32 hectares. Formerly home to the Security Command (later the Taiwan Garrison Command) New Life Correction Center (1951 - 1965), with the Green Island Reform and Re-education Prison added later (1972 - 1987), the site held a number of political prisoners during the White Terror period.
The current priorities of the park include the preservation of the remains of this historic site; the development of tourism built around negative cultural sites; the history of human rights development and the island's ecology during martial law; and promotion of tourism focused on negative heritage and the natural environment.
The National Human Rights Museum not only supervises the Green Island and Jing-Mei parks, but also works to build ties with organizations that promote human rights and to foster international exchange, with an eye towards further deepening Taiwan's core values of democracy, freedom, and justice.