TAIWAN: DEATH PENALTY REMOVED FROM MILITARY LAW
May 3, 2011: Taiwan moved a step closer toward the reduced use of the death penalty as the Legislative Yuan amended the country's law on military service violations.
The Legislature passed the third reading of the bill, which amends the Punishment Act for Violation to the Military Service System by removing capital punishment as an option in Articles 16 and 17.
According to the revised article 16, those who carry weapons by group and obstruct a military service causing the death or serious injury to a person will be subject to a maximum life sentence rather than the death penalty.
According to the revised article 17, those who carry weapons by group and fight publicly against a military service causing the death or serious injury to a person will be subject to a maximum life sentence rather than the death penalty.
The amendment was passed to protect human rights in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, both signed by Taiwan in 2009, the government said.
Human rights groups at home and abroad have repeatedly urged Taiwan's government to abolish the use of the death penalty, but authorities have said a consensus on the issue has yet to be reached in the country, with opposition to abolishing capital punishment still strong. (Sources: CAN, 03/05/2011)