Activists opposed to the death penalty yesterday protested outside the Control Yuan in Taipei against Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien, who had praised the executions last Friday of six prisoners.
The protesters also asked the Control Yuan to look into Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu’s (曾勇夫) signing of the execution orders.
Holding up signs condemning executions and Wang’s remarks that the execution of prisoners on death row is a manifestation of justice and that he would praise Tseng for his decision to sign the execution orders, activists called on Wang to apologize and accused Tseng of illegally executing the prisoners.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
“It’s Wang’s personal freedom to support capital punishment. However, as head of the Control Yuan, he should have launched an investigation into the signing of the execution orders, instead of praising illegal homicide by the Ministry of Justice,” said Kao Yung-cheng (高涌誠), an attorney and a long-time human rights advocate. “This is encourages officials to act illegally.”
Kao said that, according to Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), “anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence.”
“Tseng knows that all the six executed prisoners requested a presidential pardon, and the Presidential Office has also confirmed that it received those requests,” Kao said. “Hence, the six should not have been executed before the Presidential Office responded, whether or not amnesty would be granted.”
After President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) signing and the Legislative Yuan’s ratification and adoption of a law on imposing the ICCPR and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the two international human rights covenants are granted the status of domestic laws, “thus any government official who claims that he or she is acting according to the law should act according to the two covenants as well,” Kao said.
Control Yuan member Yeh Yao-peng (葉耀鵬) accepted the petition and promised to launch a probe into the ministry’s administrative responsibility on the executions.
A Control Yuan staffer said that Wang is on leave and out of the country, and was thus unable to be contacted to meet with the demonstrators.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up