TAIWAN: NEW JUSTICE MINISTER ORDERS DEATH ROW REVIEW
March 22, 2010: Taiwan's new justice minister, who was appointed after his predecessor refused to authorise executions, said he had ordered a review of the cases of all 44 prisoners on Taiwan's death row.
Tseng Yung-fu was also quoted by the official Central News Agency as suggesting that his ministry would carry out the death sentence in cases where the condemned prisoners' guilt had been confirmed.
"The justice ministry will decide whether to execute any of the death row prisoners and will not avoid its responsibility if the review confirms they were guilty," Tseng was quoted as saying.
He also told the news agency that carrying out executions would not violate two UN human rights conventions to which Taiwan was a signatory and which oblige signatories to reduce the number of executions.
"Carrying out executions (of those already convicted) should not go as far to violate the two conventions," Tseng said, after he was sworn in as minister.
Tseng replaced Wang Ching-feng, who resigned this month after attracting a storm of criticism over her refusal to order the execution of any of the 44 prisoners on death row.
The option of abolishing the death penalty was still open, Tseng was quoted as saying. (Sources: Afp, 23/03/2010)