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Shih Ming-teh, Taiwan activist who pushed for democracy, dies at 83

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BANGKOK — Shih Ming-teh, a democracy activist who helped lead Taiwan from authoritarianism to democracy and a former chairman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Get together, died on Monday, his household stated. He was 83.

Aaccording to an announcement from his household on his official Facebook web page, he was being handled at Taipei’s Veterans Normal Hospital. No reason for dying was supplied.

“Our father, Shih Ming-teh, set off immediately on his birthday, reuniting together with his members of the family and the comrades-in-arms that he had fought with via thick and thin,” stated the household. “Whether or not it is right here or on the opposite aspect, he isn’t alone.”

Shih was born in Kaohsiung, in Taiwan’s south, and have become an activist at a younger age. Whereas serving a compulsory navy service in Kinmen, he was imprisoned for advocating for Taiwan’s independence from China. He served 15 years within the first sentence, from 1962 to 1977, based on Taiwan’s semi-official Central Information Company.

In 1980, he once more went to jail, this time for 10 years for his position within the Kaohsiung Incident, immediately seen as one of many main moments in pushing Taiwan to finally transition to democracy.

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On the time, Taiwan was dominated by the Nationalist Get together — the Kuomingtang — below martial regulation, with no room for political dissent or political rights comparable to voting.

Shih, who revealed {a magazine} known as Formosa selling democratic beliefs, organized a well-attended protest in Kaohsiung in December 1979, based on historic data. Clashes between police and the protesters erupted, and a number of other dozen protesters had been arrested, together with Shih, who was sentenced to life in jail.

He was later launched and cleared of all costs by President Lee Teng-hui, after the island transitioned from martial regulation to a democratic system.

The federal government’s response and the prolonged sentence introduced him, in addition to the democratic trigger each public assist in Taiwan and worldwide consideration.

Later, Shih served within the Democratic Progressive Get together as a legislator and the get together’s chairman however he’s most generally remembered for his work as a democracy activist.

Because the information unfold, Taiwan’s public paid tribute to Shih.

“Chairman Shih has traveled far-off, however his presence will all the time stay in our hearts,” stated Taipei’s metropolis mayor, Chiang Wan-an, including that Shih left an necessary imprint on Taiwan’s historical past of democracy.

”Thanks for the fantastic reminiscences you gave me of my youth: the idea in justice, the bravery to defy authority, selfless and fearless, by no means following the gang, or scrambling for energy,” wrote Taiwanese author Chiang Hsun. “Salute to the everlasting revolutionary!”

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