Coalition petitions Taiwan president to pardon death row inmate tortured into confessing 32 years ago

Sentenced to death in 1980s despite dearth of evidence, Chiou Ho-shun remains a hole in Tsai administration's transitional justice narrative

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/04/18
By Micah McCartney, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

President Tsai Ing-wen (Left), Chiou Ho-shun (AP, Radio Taiwan International photos)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — One week after Taiwan saw its second execution during the tenure of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), a coalition of NGOs, lawyers, and academics sent her a petition for a presidential pardon for another inmate — Chiou Ho-shun (邱和順), who over three decades ago was sentenced to death on the basis of confessions extracted through torture during police interrogations.

A living reminder that the quest for transitional justice is far from over

Taiwan has won accolades from the international community in recent memory for being a democratic success story in the shadow of authoritarian China; for becoming the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage; and at this moment, for the adeptness and openness with which it has tackled the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the island is making visible efforts to redress some of the darkest episodes of its past.

Soon after her inauguration in 2016, Tsai formally apologized for the historical mistreatment of the island's indigenous peoples. Two years later, her administration established the Transitional Justice Commission to investigate and make public human rights violations during Taiwan's martial law period, with an online database of victims being launched this year on the 73rd anniversary of the 2/28 Massacre.    [FULL  STORY]

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