On learning of the executions of four death-row inmates in Taiwan, Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (3 May):
“I condemn the executions of four people in Taiwan in the strongest possible terms. Taiwan has thus broken a five-year moratorium which had made it an example for the entire region.
These executions were carried out without prior announcement and in spite of several appeals for clemency to the Taiwan authorities by the German Government and the European Union. This is a serious setback to the current efforts to have the death penalty abolished in Taiwan. The justifications offered are not convincing in any way. I am horrified at the announcement that all death-row inmates are first to be executed before capital punishment is abolished. I find this extremely cynical and callous!
I urge the Taiwan authorities to desist from carrying out any further executions and to abolish the death penalty forthwith.”