Gov’t com­mu­ni­cat­ing with EU over death penalty

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

The gov­ern­ment has con­tin­ued to com­mu­ni­cate with Euro­pean Union (EU) coun­tries on the use of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in Tai­wan, a Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs (MOFA) of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day, days af­ter Tai­wan ex­e­cuted six death-row in­mates.

Re­spond­ing to the EU’s com­ments on Tai­wan’s lat­est use of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, Yi Chih-chen ( ), Deputy Direc­tor-Gen­eral of MOFA’s Depart­ment of Euro­pean Af­fairs, said the min­istry has been keep­ing in close con­tact with the EU on the is­sue of abol­ish­ing the death penalty for years.

Its over­seas rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fices have also re­peat­edly ex­plained Tai­wan gov­ern­ment’s stance to for­eign gov­ern­ments.

That is why, Yi said that the EU’s lat­est com­ments af­ter Tai­wan ex­e­cuted six death-row in­mates last Fri­day are “rel­a­tively mild” even though the EU still holds firmly to its stance on op­pos­ing death penalty.

The min­istry will con­tinue to en­gage in mul­ti­lat­eral ex­changes with Euro­pean coun­tries over the is­sue, he added.

Tai­wan’s Min­istry of Jus­tice ex­e­cuted six death-row in­mates last Fri­day.

Fol­low­ing the ex­e­cu­tions, the EU re­leased a state­ment via the Euro­pean Eco­nomic and Trade Of­fice (EETC) in Tai­wan to re­it­er­ate its op­po­si­tion to the use of the death penalty and called for an “im­me­di­ate mora­to­rium” on ex­e­cu­tions.

”We rec­og­nize the suf­fer­ing of the vic­tims of the crimes in­volved and ex­press our sin­cere sym­pa­thy to their fam­i­lies,” said the state­ment is­sued late Fri­day by the Euro­pean Ex­ter­nal Ac­tion Ser­vice, which is the EU’s diplo­matic ser­vice.

”How­ever, the EU re­it­er­ates that the death penalty can never be jus­ti­fied and calls for its uni­ver­sal abo­li­tion,” it said.

In re­sponse to crit­i­cism that the EU’s com­ments were an at­tempt to in­ter­fere with Tai­wan’s in­ter­nal af­fairs, the EETC said in a Face­book state­ment last Satur­day that it was sim­ply call­ing for bi­lat­eral dia­logue over the is­sue.

The EETC said it would never in­ter­fere in an­other coun­try’s af­fairs.

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