Taiwan executes five convicted murderers

March 5th, 2011 - 1:55 am ICT by BNO News  

TAIPEI, TAIWAN (BNO NEWS) — Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice on Friday announced that five convicted murderers were executed on Thursday evening, the Taipei Times reported.

Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu authorized the executions of Kuan Chung-yan and Chung Teh-chu in Taipei prison; Wang Chih-huang in Greater Taichung prison; and Wang Kuo-hua and Chuang Tien-chu were executed in Greater Kaohsiung prison.

Kuan was convicted of robbery and seven murders. Chung threw a Molotov cocktail into a private school in Taoyuan County killing three and injuring 15. Wang Chih-huang was convicted of killing two drug dealers and left them on the side of a highway in Taichung County.

Wang Kuo-hua was convicted of robbery and sexually assaulting several young women after contacting them through the internet. He was also found guilty of killing a woman and throwing her body in a river. Chuang was sentenced to death for murdering two prostitutes and two women after breaking into their homes in Kaohsiung city in 2002 and 2004.

After Thursday’s executions, 40 convicts still remain on death row, according to the Justice Ministry. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) openly opposed the executions.

In addition, advocacy groups held a candlelight vigil to protest the execution of the five inmates. The activists, led by the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP), also criticized Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).

“Government officials, including President Ma Ying-jeou, have always said that they would act according to the law. However, instead of making an effort to abolish capital punishment, the government seems to be rushing to execute more people,” said TAEDP executive director Lin Hsin-yi during the silent protest.

The executions came less than a year after the MOJ resumed the enforcement of capital punishment last April. Taiwan’s actions ended an unofficial moratorium in place since 2005 and were criticized by the European Union as well as human rights groups such as Amnesty International.

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