The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is working on a draft amendment to explicitely list “torture” as an offense, to deter its use by police and law enforcement officers while questioning suspects, the ministry said in a news release yesterday.
“Use of torture is forbidden throughout the world, and its prohibition is affirmed in a number of international conventions. Taiwan must uphold the protection for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” it said.
UN experts in 2017 recommended that Taiwan introduce legislation against torture, the ministry said, adding that it would seek to expand Article 125 of the Criminal Code with an explicit prohibition of torture.
Photo: Wu Cheng-fong, Taipei Times
The article prohibits the “abuse of power” and related offenses by public officials and the “use of violence to extract confession [leading to] an innocent person being prosecuted or punished.”
Draft legislation would prescribe jail sentences of three three to 10 years, it said.
The ministry would also seek to define more clearly that the article applies to court judges, prosecutors and police officers and officers at the Coast Guard Administration, the Investigation Bureau, the Agency Against Corruption, the National Immigration Agency and military police units, it said.
National Police Agency officials criticized the proposal, saying that it would lead to unsubstantiated torture accusations against law enforcement agencies.
Police might face accusations in cases where it restrained a suspect or acted out of self-defense, they said, adding that courts would be swamped with cases filed by convicts.
The chief mechanic in an air force unit from which an F-16 and its pilot went missing last week died on Sunday evening in what might have been a suicide, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. The ministry in a statement confirmed media reports that the mechanic, surnamed Huang (黃), “hurt himself” at a military barracks. Huang was taken to Hualien Armed Forces General Hospital after he was found unresponsive in the barracks, but doctors could not revive him, the ministry said. Huang served in the 26th Tactical Fighter Group of the 5th Tactical Fighter Wing, the same unit as the missing
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) last night said that it had no comment about reports that a senior US Navy officer had arrived in Taipei for a visit. Several media outlets reported that Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, director of intelligence of the US Indo-Pacific Command, arrived at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) on a special charter flight at about 7pm. The schedule of a “senior US official” in Taiwan would not be made public, the ministry said in a news release, without confirming the visit or the official’s identity. Interactions and exchanges between Taiwan and the US are common, and visits
NON-TYPICAL: Apart from Atsani, storms in autumn missed Taiwan, rainfall has been lower and average temperatures have been higher, a CWB forecaster said The current water shortage is expected to worsen in the next few months, with the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) yesterday forecasting a colder, dryer winter than normal. With winter starting next week, the bureau at a media briefing outlined the expected conditions through February and reviewed autumn’s significant weather events. Weather Forecast Center director Lu Kuo-cheng (呂國臣) said that autumn this year had three major characteristics: First, 13 tropical storms and typhoons formed from September to this month, up from 11 in the same period last year, Lu said. Apart from Atsani, for which sea and land alerts were issued in Taiwan, the tropical
The US’ inclusion of Taiwan in its Indo-Pacific Strategy is geared toward weakening Beijing’s influence in Southeast Asia, as well as providing a Blue Dot Network to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a senior Executive Yuan member said yesterday. Taiwan and the US would be seeking further collaboration on infrastructure construction and energy, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The US and Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding on the Framework to Strengthen Infrastructure, Finance and Market Cooperation on Sept. 17, which would see the Ministry of Finance and the US Department of the Treasury establishing respective task