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October 17 2008 | TAIWAN

Taiwan

Moratorium "de facto" for three years up to now

 
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TAIPEI TIMES

Anti-death penalty group holds Double Ten show

By Loa Iok-Sin

 “There has been no execution at all in Taiwan for nearly three years.”

— Lin Hsin-yi, TAEDP executive director

ROLE MODEL: The Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty says Taiwan can be an example for the rest of Asia, which is the most death penalty-active region

The Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP) held a concert on the Double Ten holiday yesterday to mark the World Day Against the Death Penalty, intended to raise public support for its campaign against capital punishment.

Individual singers and rock bands began performances at around 3:30pm in a small performance hall in Kaohsiung City.

Behind the bands, a message read: The death penalty must be abolished in Taiwan.

“Abolishing the death penalty is actually a global trend,” TAEDP executive director Lin Hsin-yi (???) told the Taipei Times in a phone interview.

During the General Assembly meeting last year, the UN decided to take a more active role in ending executions by adopting a “moratorium on the use of the death penalty.”

“We’ve seen too many cases around the world in which people are found innocent only after they were executed — There is unfortunately no chance of reversing the sentence for them,” Lin said.

Asia is considered the most “death penalty-active” continent, with the death penalty still in place in 14 countries.

However, Lin said she believed Taiwan could take a leading role in ending capital punishment in Asia.

“There has been no execution at all in Taiwan for nearly three years, and there are already debates on the topic,” she said. “We think there’s a hope, especially because Minister of Justice Wang Ching-feng [???] has openly spoken against the death penalty and President Ma Ying-jeou [???] hinted so as well during the [presidential] campaign.”

Upon her inauguration, Wang said she was in favor of abolishing the death penalty.

Ma promised during his presidential campaign that he would govern the country following ideas outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

“Although Ma did not say it clearly, ending the death penalty is one of the ideas outlined in these documents,” Lin said.

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