China Regional Action Network – October 2008
Taiwan: Liu Bing-lang, Su Chien-ho and Chuang Lin-hsun, death penalty
On the night of March 23-24,1991 Yeh In-lan and her husband Wu Ming-han were stabbed to death at their home in the town of Hsichih in Taiwan. Five months later, on August 13, 1991, police traced a fingerprint left at the scene of the crime to a marine named Wang Wen-hsiao. Wang Wen-hsiao was taken into custody on August 13, 1991, and confessed to the police immediately. More than 36 hours after he had been taken into custody Wang Wen-hsiao added new information to his confession, implicating his brother, Wang Wen-chung, and three of his brother’s classmates, whom he could not name.
Wang Wen-chung was detained soon after by police without an arrest warrant and was allegedly tortured. He named his three classmates as Liu Bing-lang, Su Chien-ho and Chuang Lin-hsun. Wang Wen-chung served two years in prison for his alleged role as an accomplice in the crime. After his release, he retracted his evidence and stated publicly that the police had forced him to implicate his classmates. Wang Wen-hsiao was executed for his part in the murders on January 11, 1992.
China Regional Action Network – September 2008
Taiwan: Moratorium on the Death penalty
No executions have been carried out in Taiwan for the last two-and-a-half years (the last execution took place on 12/26/2005) but five people were sentenced to death in 2007 joining around 70-100 prisoners on death row. Most are still under appeal, but some 29 prisoners have had their sentences finalized. In response to campaigning, former President Chen Shui-bian publicly opposed the death penalty, but emphasized the need for a gradual approach to abolition in order to forge a national consensus. The newly elected administration under President Ma Ying-jeou came to power in March 2008. The new Minister of Justice, Wang Jing-feng, has personally declared her opposition to the death penalty. However, the administration’s formal policy remains unclear, with senior officials frequently referring to public opinion to defend retention of the death penalty.
China Regional Action Network – August 2008
Global Online Freedom Act
Concerns: Freedom of expression, imprisonment of prisoners of conscience
In many countries, the Internet has given people unprecedented opportunities to communicate with each other and to learn about the outside world. But repressive governments are making Internet and technology companies allies in their repression.
China Regional Action Network – July 2008
China: Chen Guangcheng (m)
Concerns: Prisoner of Conscience, freedom of expression, torture and ill-treatment
Chen Guangcheng was put under house arrest in September 2005. The blind human rights activist and legal advisor, was assisting villagers in Linyi, Shandong Province, in a lawsuit against local authorities. The authorities had carried out a campaign of forced sterilizations and abortions in pursuit of birth quotas which reportedly affected thousands of local women. He was brought to court almost a year later on August 18, 2006. In the run-up to his trial, Chen Guangcheng, along with his family members and his own defense lawyers, were beaten, harassed and intimidated.
China Regional Action Network – June 2008
China: Tiananmen Mothers
Concerns: Freedom of expression, association and assembly
The Tiananmen Mothers, founded by Ding Zilin, a retired university professor, is a group of around 130 human rights defenders – mainly women – whose children and other close relatives were killed or injured during the military crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy movement. While the authorities have moved away from branding the events of 1989 as a “counter-revolutionary rebellion” towards labeling it a “political incident”, they have refused to respond to long-standing calls for justice by the victims or their families.