AI Index No: ASA 38/001/2008
3 December 2008
Taiwan: Police should avoid using excessive force at upcoming protests
Amnesty International has urged Taiwan’s police force to comply with international guidelines on the use of force and crowd control at the planned student protests on Sunday 7 December.
The organization also joins calls for the Control Yuan, the body mandated by the Taiwan Constitution with supervisory power over the Executive branch, to conduct an independent inquiry into alleged excessive police force during November’s protests.
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.