Established on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 1984, Taiwan Association for Human Rights is the oldest independent human rights organization in Taiwan. In its early years, TAHR operated within an environment of repression and fear. Chiang Kai-shek had imposed martial law on Taiwan in 1949, suspending the Constitution and subjecting thousands of individuals to illegal arrests, torture, imprisonment, and extrajudicial executions. The years just prior to TAHR's formation witnessed a series of cases of governmental crackdown on dissenting voices, such as the Formosa Incident (1979), the Lin family murders (1980), and the murder of Chen Wen-cheng (1981). However, these tragedies only strengthened the resolve of the people to speak out and press for the realization of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy. In this period, TAHR fought for basic civil and political rights, together with the growing social and political opposition movements. Campaigns including freeing political prisoners; ending the practice of blacklisting; and demanding freedoms of speech, association, and assembly.