Commenting on reports about the upcoming execution of six people in Taiwan, Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement on 5 June:
I am profoundly concerned about the reports on the upcoming execution of six people in Taiwan. The German Government is opposed to the death penalty whatever the circumstances. Together with our EU partners we have campaigned actively for the abolition of the death penalty in Taiwan for some years and are thus very disappointed about this step backwards.
It is incomprehensible that a mature democracy like Taiwan with generally high human rights standards should resort to such inhumane methods. This is a serious setback for human rights in Taiwan. I call on those responsible to refrain from carrying out any more death sentences and to reinstate the moratorium which was in place until 2010. Human life is too valuable to be sacrificed for short-term political gains and election campaign tactics.
The German Government rejects the death penalty under all circumstances and is pushing for the worldwide abolition of this cruel and inhuman punishment. An increasing number of states in all regions of the world have already abolished the death penalty or refrain from carrying it out. By announcing these executions, Taiwan stands in opposition to a vast majority of the international community.