Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (3 September) on an execution in Taiwan:
I deeply regret the fact that Taiwan carried out an execution on 31 August 2018 and has thereby broken with the de facto moratorium on the death penalty that had been in place since May 2016. The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane form of punishment, which the German Government rejects in all circumstances. Together with our EU partners, we have been working intensively for many years to bring about the abolition of the death penalty worldwide.
This is a setback for human rights in Taiwan, a stable democracy with generally 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.
Lee Hung-Chi, who was executed on 31 August 2018, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2014 for the murder of his wife and daughter. The sentence was subsequently converted into the death penalty by the court of appeal, confirmed by the supreme court. Since the DPP government came to power in May 2016, no death sentences had been executed.
The EU is calling for the abolition of the death penalty in dialogue on justice with Taiwan.