TAIWAN – Another six executions despite call by international experts to introduce a moratorium

“Six executions were carried out earlier this afternoon in four prisons throughout Taiwan – in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Hualien.  We feel sad and outraged,” said Lin Hsinyi, Director of the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty and ADPAN member.

All were executed by shooting. In December 2012, Taiwan executed the same number of prisoners, taking Taiwan to the fifth-largest executing country in the region in 2012. There are fears for the lives of the remaining 50 death row prisoners who have exhausted all their appeals.

Chen Tung-Jung, Chen Jui-Chin, Lin Chin-Te, Chang Pao-Hui, Li Chia-Hsuan, and Chi Chun-I were all executed today.

These latest executions come shortly after a report was issued on 1 March this year, by an International Group of Independent Experts, who recommended the government intensify its efforts to abolish the death penalty and introduce an immediate moratorium on executions. In response, the government tasked a special committee with examining options for the gradual abolition of the death penalty. The Independent Experts had been invited by the government to consider its report on implementation of UN human rights covenants.

The debate on the death penalty in Taiwan was brought into sharp focus in 2011 when Chiang Kuo-ching, a 21-year-old Air-Force cadet, was found to have been wrongly executed after a forced confession.  Chiang Kuo-ching was granted an official posthumous pardon.

ADPAN appeals to the government to stop all further executions.

ADPAN members in Taiwan:

–               Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP)

–               AI Taiwan

TAIWAN – Another Six Executions 21 December 2012

The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) joins the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP) in condemning the executions today of another six people in Taiwan.

Zeng Si-ru, Hung Ming-tsung, Huang Hsien –cheng, Chen Chin-huo, Kuang Te-chiang and Tai Te-ying were executed at different locations across Taiwan. Family members are not informed about executions in advance and find out only when they are invited to collect the body after the execution.

ADPAN regrets that since taking office in 2010, fifteen execution warrants have been signed by Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu. Four executions took place in 2010 and five last year.

The executions by shooting are the first in the country this year. 55 people are facing execution and have exhausted all appeals.

“The death penalty is the cheapest method but also the least effective in stopping crime, says Lin Hsinyi, Executive Director of the TAEDP. “If the government really wanted to put a stop to crime, it should not look to the death penalty as the cure. Instead, it should strive to solve crimes and mete out appropriate punishments”, Lin Hsinyi said.

TAIWAN – Appeal to stop the execution of Cheng Hsing-tse

 

ADPAN is appealing to the Taiwan authorities not to sign the execution warrant for Cheng Hsing-tse and to introduce an immediate moratorium on all executions.

Cheng Hsing-tse faces imminent execution following a decision made on 11 December by the Prosecutor General to reject a request for an extraordinary appeal.   He was sentenced to death for killing a police officer in 2002 and his sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2006.

Cheng Hsing-tse has consistently testified that he was tortured by the police to extract a confession. No investigations into the torture allegations have taken place and no material evidence has been found linking Cheng to the crime. His lawyers claim that there were irregularities with the investigation.

“This is an unfair trial”, says Lin Hsinyi, Director of the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TADEP) and member of the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN). “In Taiwan it is very difficult to reopen a trial to prove innocence. International fair trials standards are explicit in stating that no one should be forced to testify against themselves or to confess guilt”.

Taiwan provides no procedures to allow those under sentence of death to seek a pardon or for the sentence to be commuted – a right recognised by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which in 2009 the Taiwanese Government chose to implement.