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Human Rights Commissioner Bärbel Kofler on an execution in Taiwan

03.04.2020 - Press release

Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (3 April) on an execution in Taiwan:

I deeply regret the fact that Taiwan carried out another execution on 1 April 2020 and that the de facto moratorium on the death penalty that had been in place since May 2016 was thereby broken. The German Government is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances, as it is a brutal and inhumane form of punishment. Together with our EU partners, we have been working intensively for many years to bring about the abolition of the death penalty worldwide.

This new execution is a setback for human rights in Taiwan, a stable democracy which otherwise has very high human rights standards. I call upon those responsible to refrain from carrying out any more death sentences and to return to the moratorium as a first step towards abolishing capital punishment.

Background information:

Weng Jen-hsien, who was executed on 1 April 2020, was sentenced to death in 2016 for the murder of six family members. The sentence was confirmed by several instances, most recently by the Supreme Court on 10 July 2019. Since the current government came to power in May 2016, only one death sentence has been carried out.

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