Sunday, 6 March 2011

EU regrets three Taiwan executions

Brussels, 4 March 2011

Statement by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on the executions in Taiwan

Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made today the following statement:

"I deeply regret today’s executions in Taiwan, the first after the resumption of executions in Taiwan last year. The European Union had been encouraged by the de facto moratorium on executions that had been in place from 2006 until last year. Taiwan is now once again one of the very few industrial democracies to implement capital punishment.

"The European Union's strongly held view in favor of the abolition of capital punishment is well known. The European Union considers that the abolition of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and the progressive development of human rights. It is the European Union's view that the death penalty does not serve as an effective deterrent, and that any miscarriage of justice, which is inevitable in any legal system, would be irreversible.

"I therefore urge Taiwan not to undertake further executions, but instead to put in place an immediate de facto moratorium on executions, pending legal abolition."

Michael Mann +32 498 999 780 - +32 2 299 97 80 -
Maja Kocijancic +32 498 984 425 - +32 2 298 65 70 -

Taiwan executions condemned

4 March 2011
ASA 38/001/2010

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.

The Anti Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) is a cross-regional network made up of over 50 members including lawyers, NGOs and human rights activists from 23 countries.

For more information:

- Lin Hsiny-Yi, Executive Director, Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty, (TAEDP)
+886 (0)2 25218870 / FAX: +886 (0)2 25319373

- Louise Vischer, ADPAN Coordinator,
+44 (0)207 413 5656