Wednesday, December 06, 2006

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

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6 December 2006

Taiwan's Minister of Justice appears to have signed an execution order for death-row prisoner Chong Deshu just weeks after promising to seriously consider a halt to executions in coming months.

Shih Mao-Lin wrote to Amnesty International on 8 November promising to "give serious thought to your suggestion not to carry out any executions over the coming months." He stated: "We must say we agree with you completely that the reliance on the death penalty as a method of crime control is illusory. We also believe that execution is not the answer."

"It is disappointing to see such contradiction from the Taiwanese authorities over an issue as serious as human life," said Catherine Baber, Deputy Asia Director at Amnesty International. "The government has said it does not believe in executions: we urge it to lead through its principles by halting the execution of Chong Deshu and abolishing the death penalty in Taiwan."

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