Sunday, 16 December 2012

UA: 358/12 Index: ASA 38/006/2012 Taiwan Date: 14 December 2012 URGENT ACTION EXECUTION OF TAIWANESE MAN IS IMMINIENT


UA: 358/12 Index: ASA 38/006/2012 Taiwan Date: 14 December 2012



Cheng Hsing-tse is facing imminent execution in Taiwan after the Prosecutor General rejected a request on 11 December to seek an extraordinary appeal. The Minister of Justice could sign an execution order at any moment.

Cheng Hsing-tse was arrested on 5 January 2002 and accused of killing a police officer during a gunfight. He was sentenced to death for murder by the Taichung District Court on 18 November 2002. The case bounced back and forth between the High Court and the Supreme Court for appeals and retrials; however Cheng Hsing-tse’s death sentence was finalized on 25 May 2006. His lawyers have since applied for extraordinary appeals but the requests have been rejected each time by the Prosecutor General.

Cheng Hsing-tse first retracted his confession, allegedly extracted by the police through torture, on 6 January 2002 and again on 22 January 2002. He continued to retract his confessions in court proceedings. There have been no investigations into the torture allegations so far.

Cheng Hsing-tse’s lawyers have also argued that there were irregularities in the investigation. For example, four guns were obtained from the crime scene but Cheng’s fingerprints were not found on any of them. The police also failed to keep the crime scene intact by moving the guns and the court has never sought ballistic or forensic analysis.

Taiwan provides no procedures that would allow people on death row to seek a pardon or for the sentence to be commuted – a right recognized by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the Taiwanese parliament has voted to implement.

Cheng Hsing-tse has been in custody for more than ten years and he is currently being detained in the Taichung Detention Center.

Please write immediately in English or your own language:

 Urging the authorities not to sign an execution order for Cheng Hsing-tse or any other prisoner;

 Urging the authorities to introduce a legal procedure for requesting clemency;

 Urging the authorities to establish an immediate moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, in line with UN General Assembly resolutions 62/149 of 18 December 2007, 63/168 of 18 December 2008 and 65/206 of 21 December 2010;

 Urging the authorities to commute all death sentences to terms of imprisonment.


Minister of Justice

Minister Tseng Yung-fu

No.130, Sec.1, Chongqing S. Road

Taipei City 10048


Fax: 011 886 2 23319102


Salutation: Dear Minister


Ma Ying-jeou

Office of the President

No. 122, Sec. 1, Chongqing S. Rd.

Zhongzheng Dist.

Taipei City 100


Fax: 011 886 2 23832941

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Cheng Hsing-tse

Taichung Detention Center

No.11, Peide Road

Nantun District

Taichung City 408


Salutation: Dear Cheng Hsing-tse

Also send copies to:

Representative Jason C. Yuan

Taiwan Embassy, 4201 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington DC 20016

Tel: 1 202 895 1800 | Fax: 1 202 495-2138 | Email:

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

UA Network Office AIUSA │600 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington DC 20003

T. 202.509.8193 │ F. 202.675.8566 │E. │




Taiwan has not carried out any executions this year and 61 people remain on death row. Five people were executed in 2011. Family

members are not informed about scheduled executions in advance and they learn about them afterwards, when they are invited to

collect the bodies from the mortuary.

Since 2000, the government of Taiwan has repeatedly pledged to abolish the death penalty. However, on 30 April 2010 they resumed

the implementation of the death penalty for the first time since 2005 by executing four people.

The current government agreed to implement the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2009, and reaffirmed its

intention to eventually abolish the death penalty.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime;

guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. International law

and standards on the use of the death penalty require that in all capital cases rigorous compliance with international standards for fair

trial, at least equal to those contained in Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, are observed. These

include: the right to be tried before an independent, impartial and competent tribunal; the right to competent defense counsel at every

stage of the proceedings; the right to adequate time and facilities to prepare one’s defense; the right to be presumed innocent until guilt

has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt; the right to appeal to a higher court; the right not to be compelled to testify against

himself or herself or to confess guilt; the right to seek pardon and commutation of sentence.

Name: Cheng Hsing-tse (m)

Issue: Imminent execution, Death penalty, Legal issues

UA: 358/12

Issue Date: 14 December 2012

Country: Taiwan