Members of Amnesty International (AI) Taiwan and other rights groups yesterday launched a letter-writing campaign, seeking a re-trial for death row inmate Chiu Ho-shun (邱和順), who was reportedly tortured by police into confessing to murder.
The campaign will start in Chiu’s hometown in Miaoli County with a call for members of the public to write letters and postcards to the relevant authorities on Chiu’s behalf, AI Taiwan member Wu Jia-zhen (吳佳臻) said.
People are also encouraged to write letters of support to Chiu, who was convicted in 1989 of abducting and murdering a child two years earlier, Wu said.
Chiu’s mother is expected to appear at the event to speak about her son, whose case has been through several appeals over the past 23 years, the rights groups said.
In July last year, the lengthy process ended with a decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the death sentence against Chiu.
Chiu’s case was selected by AI as part of its “Write For Rights” global campaign, held annually to mark Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, because of the controversy surrounding his conviction.
Documented videos and recordings have shown that Chiu and his alleged accomplices were tortured by police to extract confessions during their four months in detention, according to lawyers familiar with the case.
“There is great urgency in his case,” Wu said, adding that Chiu is the only death row inmate on the list of 12 people selected for the AI campaign this year.
The others include imprisoned Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng (高智晟); Azza Hilal Ahmad Suleiman, an Egyptian woman who was attacked by Egyptian soldiers at a protest last year; and imprisoned Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi.
“Chiu is on death row and could be executed at any time,” Wu said, comparing his case to that of Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶), an Air Force serviceman who was wrongfully executed in 1997 for a murder he did not commit.
The campaign encourages the public to send letters, e-mails or text messages to support individuals around the world who are believed to be suffering human rights abuses.
There are 61 people on death row in Taiwan. In April 2010, the government ended a four-year moratorium on executions, carrying out four death sentences and another five in March last year.
The move drew criticism from the EU and human rights advocates.
Capital punishment remains a highly controversial issue, with about 80 percent of the public opposed to abolition, according to a survey released by the Ministry of Justice in 2010.
However, the survey also showed that 56 percent of the respondents would agree to life imprisonment without parole instead of a death sentence, while 43 percent would oppose such a change.
NOVEMBER ELECTIONS: The KMT urged the CECC to exclude Taiwanese from the arrivals cap, as they would lose their right to vote if they could not return by July 26 The COVID-19-related border control measures and the cap on the number of international arrivals are not being eased, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported 112 imported cases of the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is CECC spokesperson, said a meeting was held yesterday morning in which the Cabinet decided that current border control measures would remain in place. He said the main considerations were global COVID-19 cases increasing 21 percent last week, imported cases of Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 continuing to be detected
Samsung Electronics Co yesterday commenced mass production of 3-nanometer chips that are more powerful and efficient than predecessors, beating rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to a key milestone in the race to build the most advanced chips in the world. South Korea’s largest company said in a statement that it was beginning with 3-nanometer semiconductors for high-performance and specialized low-power computing applications before expanding to mobile processors. By applying so-called Gate-All-Around transistor architecture, Samsung’s 3-nanometer products reduce power consumption by up to 45 percent and improve performance by 23 percent compared with 5-nanometer chips, it said. Samsung’s push to be first
Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung (張學友) has been criticized by the “Little Pink” — a term used to describe young, jingoistic Chinese nationalists on the Web — for saying “Hong Kong jia you [加油, an expression of encouragement].” To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule on Friday, China Central Television made a series of programs in which it interviewed Cheung and other celebrities. Cheung, speaking in Cantonese, said in the interview that “Hong Kong has been through a lot in the past 25 years, including ups and downs” and ended with the phrase “Hong
‘STRONG SUPPORT’: Liberal International expressed concern over Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s airspace, saying they could undermine regional peace Liberal International on Saturday passed a “World Today Resolution” recognizing the threat that China poses to Taiwan, while supporting Taipei’s inclusion in international organizations. Liberal International was established in 1947 as a federation of liberal political parties from around the world. Last week, it held its 63rd congress in Sofia, Bulgaria, which was attended by 221 representatives from 58 countries. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), in her capacity as chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), delivered a speech in a pre-recorded video at the congress’ opening on Thursday. DPP spokeswoman Hsieh Pei-fen (謝佩芬) yesterday said the party, which has been a member of