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Death penalty issue not urgent: justice minister

2016/05/30 13:51:46

Justice Minister Chiu Tai-san.

Taipei, May 30 (CNA) There is no urgency to resolve the question of whether to abolish the death penalty in Taiwan, Justice Minister Chiu Tai-san (邱太三 ) said Monday, in response to questions in the Legislature about his stance on the issue.

Chiu said Taiwan maintains the death penalty, both in law and in practice, and his ministry will continue to carry out the execution of death row inmates after grave consideration.

Nonetheless, Taiwan is aware of the views of the international community, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights -- two international human rights covenants that Taiwan ratified in 2009, he said.

Any move to abolish capital punishment will be a complex process, Chiu said, noting that it has long been a contentious issue in the society.

"I hope consensus can be forged through dialogue," Chiu said at a legislative hearing, when asked whether his ministry planned to push for abolition of the death penalty.

Ten days before Chiu took office on May 20, his predecessor Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) gave the order for the execution of one of the 43 death row inmates in Taiwan. Cheng Chieh (鄭捷), who killed four people in random a knife attack on a Taipei Metro train in 2014, was executed by gunshots to the back on May 11.

(By Page Tsai and Lilian Wu)