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The final stage: Confrontations, sacrifice and the struggle for the freedom of speech, 1987-1992 

As pressure arose internationally and domestically, Chiang Ching-Kuo enacted the National Security Act During the Period of National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion in 1987. Then, he relaxed the government controls on the media and speech by lifting martial law and the press ban.

However, under the strict supervision of the Taiwan Garrison Command, the Suppression of the Communist Rebellion remained effective based jointly on The Punishment of Rebellion Act and Article 100 of The Criminal Code.

In 1989, Nylon Cheng(鄭南榕), who strived for complete freedom of speech, was accused of insurrection for his political stance. From KMT’s perspective, his advocacy for Taiwan independence was undoubtedly seditious.

An arrest warrant was issued. Nylon Cheng refused to appear in court and used peaceful resistance to defend his claim. He imprisoned himself at the Editor-in-Chief office of Freedom Era Weekly (自由時代) for 71 days. When the police and military officers attempted to break into his office to arrest him on April 7, he set his office on fire and committed suicide by self-immolation. 

In 1991, President Li Teng-hui(李登輝)announced the end of the Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion. With the abolishment of the Punishment of Rebellion Act and the amendment of Article 100 of the Criminal Code, Taiwan took significant steps toward freedom and democracy in 1992. But even so, three acts violating the constitution, e.g., the National Security Act, Assembly and Parade Act and Civil Associations Act, remained effective and restricted the freedom of speech.