Monday, March 07, 2011

Death Penalty persists in Asia


The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) says the latest executions of five men in Taiwan on 4 March 2011 calls into question the Taiwan government's stated intention to abolish the death penalty.

This brings the number of executions to nine since last year and goes against the global trend towards abolition.

The Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP), who are members of ADPAN, pointed out today that, "carrying out any executions at this point in time would violate both domestic and international law." Taiwan has legally committed itself to the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2009, which includes the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence, and incorporated it into domestic law the same year.

The executions today of Wang Chih-huang, Wang Kuo-hua, Chuang Tien-chu, Kuan Chung-yen and Chong De-shu were carried out by shooting. None of the family members were informed before the executions took place.

Bizarre reasoning of Taiwan spokesmen.
Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) said on Friday that the latest executions were of people “who had committed atrocious crimes and who had killed between three and five people.”
He added that the five people executed had exhausted all possible legal avenues and “there were no reasons not to execute them. We had to deal with them according to the law.”
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) said he understood the dilemma of the government because of international pressure and the backlash from local civic groups, but said that if the government does not carry out executions, it will leave a bad impression on society and that it will not be fair for those on death row.
Wu expressed hope that the ministry would continue to execute death-row inmates and “complete the execution of all inmates this year.”
Entertainer Pai Ping-ping (白冰冰), whose daughter was murdered in 1997, said: “It is a good thing to execute them, because it helps to solve a lot of problems.”
“Isn’t it good for the government to save the money used to incarcerate them to take care of the underprivileged?” Pai asked.
James Lee (李光章), director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of European Affairs Lee said Taiwan has been trying to make European countries understand that the executions were carried out according to the law, as Taiwan followed the rule of law.
As Taiwan is a country that respects human rights, it has been working toward reducing the use of capital punishment before a consensus is reached on revising the laws to eliminate the death penalty, he added.

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