UA: 260/11 Index: ASA 38/004/2011 Issue Date: 31 August 2011


A Taiwanese man, Chiou Ho-shun, is in imminent danger of execution. He was sentenced to death in 1989 after an unfair trial. On 25 August, the Prosecutor General rejected a request to seek an extraordinary appeal for a retrial.

Chiou Ho-shun was detained in 1988 and tried in connection with two separate crimes: the kidnapping and killing of Lu Cheng and the murder of Ko Hung Yu-Lan. Only Chiou Hu-shun was sentenced to death; his 11 co-defendants were sentenced to prison terms, which they have all completed, apart from one who died in prison.

Chiou Ho-shun and his co-defendants say that they were held incommunicado for the first four months of their detention and they were tortured to make them confess. They later retracted their confessions.

In 1994, after an official investigation, two public prosecutors and 10 police officers handling the kidnapping and killing of Lu Cheng were convicted of extracting confessions through torture. Police admitted in 2003 that they had covered up the fact that another death row inmate had confessed, just before his execution, to the killing of Lu Cheng.

During the 23 years Chiou Ho-shun has been in custody, his case has bounced back and forth between the High Court and Supreme Court 11 times.

The courts have failed to exclude as evidence his confession, though it was extracted under torture; neither have they investigated the confession of the other death row inmate to the killing of Lu Cheng.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English, Chinese or your own language:

■ Urging the authorities not to execute Chiou Ho-shun;
■ Urging them to guarantee that he will be retried in line with international standards for fair trial;
■ Urging them to implement a procedure, in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, allowing people under sentence of death to seek pardon or commutation of sentence;
■ Calling on them to introduce an immediate moratorium on executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty, as provided by UN General Assembly resolution 62/149, of 18 December 2007 and subsequent resolutions.


Minister of Justice
Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫)
Ministry of Justice
No. 130, Sec. 1, Chongqing S. Rd.
Zhongzheng Dist.
Taipei City 100, Taiwan
Fax: +886-2-2331-9102
Email: [email protected]

Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九)
Office of the President
No. 122, Sec. 1, Chongqing S. Rd.
Zhongzheng Dist.
Taipei City 100, Taiwan
Fax: +886-2-2383-2941
Email (Secretary General): [email protected]

And copies to:
Chiou Ho-shun (邱和順)
Taipei Detention Center
No.2, Li-de Road
Tucheng City
Taipei County, 236, Taiwan


More than 50 people are on death row in Taiwan. Family members are not informed about scheduled executions in advance: they learn about them afterwards when they are invited to collect the bodies from the mortuary.

Since 2000, the government of Taiwan has repeatedly pledged to abolish the death penalty. However, on 30 April 2010 they resumed executions for the first time since 2005, executing four people.

Five men were executed by firing squad earlier this year. Wang Chih-huang, Wang Kuo-hua, Chuang Tien-chu, Guang Chung-yen and Chung Teh-shu had been sentenced to death separately for crimes committed between 1988 and 2005.

Those under sentence of death in Taiwan are given no way to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence - a right recognized by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Taiwan has committed to implement.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to carry out the execution.