TAIWAN – Appeal to stop the execution of Cheng Hsing-tse

ADPAN is appealing to the Taiwan authorities not to sign the execution warrant for Cheng Hsing-tse and to introduce an immediate moratorium on all executions.

Cheng Hsing-tse faces imminent execution following a decision made on 11 December by the Prosecutor General to reject a request for an extraordinary appeal.   He was sentenced to death for killing a police officer in 2002 and his sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2006.

Cheng Hsing-tse has consistently testified that he was tortured by the police to extract a confession. No investigations into the torture allegations have taken place and no material evidence has been found linking Cheng to the crime. His lawyers claim that there were irregularities with the investigation.

“This is an unfair trial”, says Lin Hsinyi, Director of the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TADEP) and member of the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN). “In Taiwan it is very difficult to reopen a trial to prove innocence. International fair trials standards are explicit in stating that no one should be forced to testify against themselves or to confess guilt”.

Taiwan provides no procedures to allow those under sentence of death to seek a pardon or for the sentence to be commuted – a right recognised by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which in 2009 the Taiwanese Government chose to implement.