P R E S S
EUROPEAN UNION Brussels, 1 May 2010
Statement by the spokesperson of HR Catherine Ashton on the resumption of executions in Taiwan
The spokesperson of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Catherine Ashton has issued the following statement today:
The High Representative condemns the executions in Taiwan of Chang Jun Hong, Hong Chen Yao, Ke Shi Ming and Chang Wen Wei.
The High Representative deplores the resumption of executions in Taiwan. The European Union had been encouraged by the de facto moratorium on executions which had been in place since 2005 and which had been continued by the administration of President Ma Ying Jeou.
The European Union's strongly held view in favour of the abolition of capital punishment is well known. The European Union considers that the abolition of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and the progressive development of human rights. It is the European Union's view that the death penalty does not serve as an effective deterrent, and that any miscarriage of justice, which is inevitable in any legal system, is irreversible.
Consequently, the death penalty has been abolished in all European Union countries. The European Union believes that the reasons for doing away with this penalty remain valid in any part of the world. Universal abolition of the death penalty is thus a strongly held position shared by all European Union Member States, who regard moratoria on executions as an important step towards that aim.
The European Union urges the Government of Taiwan immediately to resume the de facto moratorium on the death penalty, pending legal abolition, which should include all cases still on death row in Taiwan. The European Union further urges the Government of Taiwan to resume a policy towards eventual abolition of the death penalty, in line with the global trend towards universal abolition.