Six convicts on death row were executed yesterday, the Ministry of Justice announced last night.
The executions were carried out after Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) signed orders on Wednesday giving the go-ahead for the death sentences to be carried out.
Lin Chin-te (林金德) was executed at Taipei Prison; Chen Jui-chin (陳瑞欽) at Greater Taichung Prison; Chen Tung-jung (陳東榮) at Greater Tainan Prison; and Chang Pao-hui (張胞輝), Chi Chun-i (紀俊毅) and Lee Chia-hsuan (李嘉軒) at Hualien Prison, Deputy Minister of Justice Chen Ming-tang (陳明堂) told a press conference.
Photo: Lin Chun-hung, Taipei Times
Chen Jui-chin was sentenced to death for killing six people for the insurance payments — his three sons, two wives and a third woman.
Chen Tung-jung was convicted of setting fire to a hotel and killing 26 people in then-Tainan City in 1985.
He had been on the run for 25 years before he was captured. A court ruling said he set fire to the hotel because his friend had had a small dispute with a member of staff, and that he did not offer to compensate the victims’ families or show any remorse during the hearings.
Chang had been convicted of breaking into a residence in February 2003, and robbing and murdering an elderly man and his girlfriend. After he was caught, investigators discovered that Chang had also killed his own girlfriend, surnamed Chen, in 2002.
Chi and Lee were convicted for a brutal shootout at a Taichung tea house in 2004. Three people died and two were seriously injured in the incident. The pair also committed two kidnappings before they were caught.
Lin set fire to his girlfriend’s house in Keelung in July 2002, killing three young girls.
Chen Ming-tang said the six who were executed had murdered innocent men, women and children using very cruel methods, including arson.
He said that various surveys have shown public support for the death penalty and he added that a survey released by the ministry in July last year showed that 76.7 percent of respondents supported the death penalty, while a poll released by National Cheng Chung University in January showed that 90 percent of respondents opposed abolishing capital punishment.
No organ donations were made by the six, he added.
Tseng, who took office in 2010, resumed the use of capital punishment after a moratorium of more than four years. Since that time, the minister has signed 21 execution orders.
Following yesterday’s executions, the number of inmates on death row now stands at 56, the ministry said.
Human rights activists criticized the government and vowed to file lawsuits against officials over the ministry’s decision to executive the six inmates.
“The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have been ratified by the legislature and given status as domestic laws, and the government is supposed to act accordingly,” Covenants Watch covener Kao Yung-cheng (高涌誠) told a press conference at the legislature. “The covenants stipulate that all death-row prisoners have the right to appeal their cases and all the prisoners currently on death row have done so.”
“The ministry has violated the laws by approving the executions before their appeals have been heard,” Kao said.
Judicial Reform Foundation director Kao Chih-jung (高志榮) urged President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to not forget his promise that the two international human rights covenants would enjoy a higher status than domestic laws, and that domestic laws would be invalidated if they contradicted the covenants.
Several human rights groups, including Covenants Watch, Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty and the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, jointly issued a statement condemning the executions, while saying that they would pursue legal action against the ministry officials and civil servants involved in the decisionmaking process.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
‘SIGNAL TO ALLIES’: The US Navy’s exercises are not in response to those carried out by China, the commander of the strike group led by the USS ‘Ronald Reagan’ said Two US aircraft carriers were yesterday conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the US Navy said as China also carried out military drills that have been criticized by the US Department of Defense and neighboring states. China and the US have accused each other of stoking tension in the waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from COVID-19 to trade to Hong Kong. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said in a statement. It did not say exactly