Fri, Aug 30, 2013 - Page 4 News List

New committee to extend scope of cases it accepts

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

The scope of the cases accepted by the Executive Yuan’s Military Injustice Petitions Committee is to be extended to events which left people with a total loss of cognitive functions, as well as those that resulted in death or disappearance, the head of the commission, Lo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪), said yesterday.

An exception would be made for people who have either received relief payments or compensation under the State Compensation Act (國家賠償法), Lo said.

Whether cases where people have developed mental health problems in the military would be accepted by the committee is still being considered, she said.

The decision has not yet been made because of concerns that the inclusion of psychiatric cases may cause an unbearable workload for the committee and whether all cases should be included regardless of the level of severity of the mental health issues, Lo said.

The conclusions were reached at the first meeting of the committee yesterday following a ceremony where certificates of appointment were conferred on the 15 members, four representing civil groups, three lawyers, four academic experts and four government officials.

The committee is to be divided into five groups to handle cases, with the aim to “assist the people concerned uncover new evidence” sufficient to reopen judicial investigation into what they considered was a miscarriage of justice, Lo said.

People can ask to have a case looked into by the committee by telephoning (02) 3356-8361 or in person during working hours from 8:30am to 12:30pm and 13:30pm to 17:30pm. The office, situated in the Executive Yuan on Zhongxiao E Road, would also accept cases by mail, Lo said.

The government agreed to set up the committee on Aug. 3 when about 250,000 people took to streets to demand improved human rights in the military, prompted by the death of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) on July 4. However, the government’s sincerity has been questioned because the committee will only operate for a year.

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