ICJ condemns Taiwan’s imposition of the death penalty

The ICJ today condemned the execution by the Government of Taiwan of six prisoners, convicted on charges of murder, on 19 April 2013. It follows the earlier execution of six convicted persons in December 2012.

Twenty-one executions have been carried out in Taiwan since April 2010, shattering a de facto moratorium of the death penalty that had been respected by the Government since December 2005.

“The Government of Taiwan’s execution of 12 people in the last six months constitutes a serious and unacceptable assault on the right to life and human dignity”, said Alex Conte, Director of the ICJ International Law & Protection Programmes. “These executions also place Taiwan at odds with the international community, which has adopted with increasingly large majorities since December 2007 the UN General Assembly resolutions calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions”, Conte added.

This new round of executions are especially lamentable in light of the encouraging step recently taken by the country to invite an international group of experts to review the measures adopted by the Government to promote and protect human rights. The recommendations to the Government of Taiwan, formulated by those experts, and welcomed by the ICJ and other rights groups, included intensifying efforts towards the  abolition of capital punishment and the recommendation that Taiwan “as a first and decisive step, immediately introduces a moratorium on executions in accordance with the respective resolutions of the UN General Assembly”.

The ICJ believes that the use of the death penalty constitutes a violation of the right to life and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.

ICJ and other rights groups encourage Taiwan on domestic implementation of human rights (see ICJ and other rights groups’ statement on Taiwan’s human rights review process)

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