TAIWAN: GOVERNMENT SHOULD CORRECT PROCEDURAL ISSUES WITH DEATH PENALTY, NHRC SAYS
December 10, 2020:
Taiwan's government should correct the numerous procedural problems in the way the death penalty is carried out, Taiwan's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said on 10 December 2020, Human Rights Day. (Source: CNA, 10/12/2020)
The remark was part of the NHRC's independent opinion report which addresses issues raised in Taiwan's third national human rights report, published in June this year by the Executive Yuan.
The government report reviewed Taiwan's implementation of two United Nations human rights covenants -- the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - from 2015 to 2019.
In contrast, the NHRC report focuses more on human rights issues the government should continue to work on, the commission said.
In terms of the death penalty, the NHRC said there are numerous procedural problems with how the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) implements the punishment, such as not allowing enough time for inmates to file appeals and the lack of clear rules on the respective responsibilities of prison staff and court bailiffs.
The MOJ also executes inmates even in cases where they have applied for a presidential pardon but have not yet received a response, which contravenes with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the NHRC said.
The MOJ should, therefore, conduct a comprehensive review of its procedures regarding the death penalty, the NHRC said.
The 10-member NHRC was established in August this year and is overseen by the Control Yuan. The body is made up of eight Control Yuan members, who are nominated by the president, and two members nominated by other members of the commission.
The commission is responsible for reviewing complaints of abuses and discrimination and advising government agencies on related policy making issues, but its proposals are advisory in nature.