Thu, May 10, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Ministry of Justice looking into prison rape allegations

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Justice is looking into an allegation that a prisoner was raped in jail, Deputy Minister of Justice Chen Ming-tang (陳明堂) said yesterday, adding that it would mete out punishments to prison authorities if they are found to have neglected their duties.

At a meeting of the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee at the legislature in Taipei yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said he had received information that a man surnamed Chiu (邱) had been raped in jail after he was sentenced to one year, 10 months for having sex with a minor.

At the time, Chiu had just turned 18, and after he entered Taipei Prison in 2010 to serve his sentence, the “leader” of the inmates raped him and another three inmates, Tuan said.

After prison authorities were informed, prosecutors indicted the “leader” and Chiu was placed in an isolated cell as a result of the psychological trauma he suffered from the incident, Tuan said.

Chiu was later transferred to serve out his sentence at Yunlin County Prison. During his time there, the prison staff told him: “You deserved to be raped.” He is on long-term medication due to his fragile psychological state, Tuan said.

Tuan said not only did the administrators of the prison not provide Chiu with counseling, the ministry’s Agency of Corrections also failed to act when Chiu was raped.

“Do prisoners not have human rights?” Tuan asked.

Tuan said he would be asking the agency for compensation on Chiu’s behalf.

In response to Tuan’s charges, Chen said prisoners do have rights and they are supposed to be protected while they are in prison.

The ministry is looking into the allegations and will not hesitate to punish the relevant officials if it is discovered that prison authorities neglected their duties, Chen said.

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