Anti-Article 100 Action

“Constitutional Governance to Protect Human Rights, Release Political Prisoners”, “Abolish Article 100 of the Criminal Code”, “Abolish the National Assembly”, “Direct Election of the President”

Event description

The martial law regime of the Republic of China is composed of several regulations, including the "Declaration of Martial Law in Taiwan Province", "Temporary Provisions against the Communist Rebellion", and the "Act for the Control and Punishment of Rebellion". In 1987, although the Kuomintang government declared the end of martial law, lifted party and press bans, other authoritarian laws persisted and sustained the White Terror regime.

On May 1, 1991, the government announced the abolition of the "Temporary Provisions against the Communist Rebellion". However, eight days later, the "Independent Taiwan Association Incident" erupted on the campus of National Tsing Hua University where the Investigation Bureau entered the campus, arrested graduate student Liao Weicheng, and citizens Chen Zhengran, Wang Hsiuhuei, and Lin Yinfu, who were members of the "Independent Taiwan Association" reading club. The Investigation Bureau accused these four individuals under the "Article 2-1" of the Act for the Control and Punishment of Rebellion which may render a mandatory death penalty sentence.

After the incident, continuous social protests forced the Legislative Yuan to abolish the Act for the Control and Punishment of Rebellion on May 17. However, in the Criminal Code, the so-called "Article 100” and the "crime of rebellion" remained, imposing severe penalties of seven years to life imprisonment for anyone with the "intent to undermine the national polity, occupy territory, or illegally alter the constitution or overthrow the government" (such as advocating "Taiwan independence").

Therefore, on September 21, 1991, under the advocacy of Academia Sinica academic Lee Chen-yuan, National Taiwan University professors Chen Shih-meng, Lin Shantien, and Chu Hai-yuan, among others, the "Anti-Article 100 Action Alliance" was formed, calling for the "abolition of Article 100 of the Criminal Code" and planning to launch the "anti-military parade, abolish unjust laws" action on National Day, October 10. However, on October 9, protesters, including Lee Chen-yuan, gathered in front of the Basic Building at National Taiwan University Medical School for a nonviolent sit-in but were forcefully dispersed by military police.


In response to the resistance and public pressure from the Anti-Article 100 Action Alliance, political parties in both the ruling and opposition camps engaged in negotiations in the parliament regarding Article 100 of the Criminal Code. Ultimately, in May 1992, the parliament decided to amend the law rather than abolish it. The amendment to Article 100 of the Criminal Code was passed through the readings in the Legislative Yuan. The essential change was shifting the qualifying condition from "intent" to "those who act by force or coercion," effectively abolishing all restrictions on thought and speech. This also meant the elimination of the overseas exile "blacklist," allowing political prisoners to return to Taiwan.

Participating Organizations

Reference books