The magazine organized a pro-democracy demonstration on Dec. 10, 1979. It was intended to commemorate Human Rights Day.
The event turned violent when members of the crowd unknown to the organizers — and widely believed to have been provocateurs — began attacking police. The KMT authorities used the Incident as an excuse to arrest virtually all well-known opposition leaders.
The commission said that it worked closely with several agencies to facilitate the declassification and transfer of data about state-perpetrated injustice during the White Terror era.
At first it was not easy, as all files on the Kaohsiung Incident had been permanently classified, the commission said.
Thanks to assistance from the Presidential Office and National Security Council, the classified documents eventually saw the light of day, it said.
The data detailed how the then-KMT government surveilled Formosa Magazine from when it was founded to the publication of its first issue, the commission said, adding that the magazine was being so closely monitored that the KMT knew the entire content of its first issue before it went to print, including the layout of its inside pages.
In the few months of the short-lived magazine’s life, intelligence agencies had embedded informants in the magazine’s office to monitor every move, the commission said.
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