TAIWAN—Amnesty International has released a press statement voicing its disapproval for Taiwan’s execution of five men on March 4.
These five men, Wang Chih-huang, Wang Kuo-hua, Chuang Tien-chu, Guang Chung-yen and Chung Teh-shu, were all shot to death for crimes committed between 1988 and 2005, which contradicts Taiwan’s claim to a no death sentence policy.
Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director said in the press release that Taiwan has “repeatedly stated [its] intention to abolish the death penalty.” However, he said that Taiwanese authorities have “acted contrary to their own commitments and against the global trend towards abolition of the death penalty.”
The five men were killed four weeks after President Ma Ying-jeou formally apologized for the 1997 execution of an innocent man.
Despite promises from Taiwan authorities to end the death penalty in 2005, the country resumed use of this sentence in April 2010 with the executions of four people.
Though Taiwan has agreed to abide by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, it has ignored the terms of agreement. First, it does not provide the opportunity for a pardon or commutation of those sentenced to death- a right listed under the covenant- and second, families are not notified of the prisoner’s death until after the execution has occurred, when they are asked to collect the remains of the deceased.
Amnesty International has voiced its opposition to the death penalty in all cases, regardless of the crime committed, and condemns Taiwan for these five executions.