TAIWAN: GRADUAL ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY IS GOVT'S AIM
April 8, 2010: the gradual abolition of the death penalty is the Taiwanese government's aim, Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu said. He told lawmakers there was no timetable to go ahead with the executions. However, a special review committee will decide on executions once it had been ascertained that there were no problems with death sentences. The ministry's stance was still that it should adhere to the law and conduct executions for convicts, he told lawmakers. Ministry officials were going through the cases of the present 44 death row occupants and if they found there were no problems, a new taskforce would be formed to set standards for moving ahead, Tseng said.
The ministry will organize several seminars this month to hear public opinion on the issue.
The continuation of the death sentences was thought to become an obstacle to attempts at winning visa exemptions for Taiwanese visitors to the European Union. The government said it would try to explain the situation so that the Schengen Group of nations - 22 EU members and three other countries - still agreed to introduce the visa waivers before the end of the year. (Sources: Taiwan News, 09/04/2010)