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Group protests in front of justice ministry over execution
Central News Agency
2014-04-29 11:14 PM
Taipei, April 29 (CNA) Protesters against the death penalty gathered in front of the Ministry of Justice Tuesday evening following the execution of five death-row inmates earlier in the day, the first time Taiwan has carried out death sentences in over a year. The Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty brought around 40 people to the small rally in front of the ministry building, where they criticized what they saw as an execution carried out to win support at a time of low government approval ratings. Lin Hsin-yi, executive director of the group, pointed out that two of the executed inmates, brothers Tu Ming-lang and Tu Ming-hsiung, had been initially found innocent before they were handed the death sentence in later retrials. The lawyer for Liu Kuo-yen, another executed inmate, had just visited his client earlier in day and was planning to file an appeal, Lin said. An argument erupted when the protesters encountered a supporter of the death penalty, Taiwan Children's Rights Association Director-General Wang Wei-chun. Wang argued that people opposed to the death penalty should consider the feelings of the families of convicts' victims. Also Tuesday Deputy Justice Minister Chen Ming-tang dismissed allegations of a political motivation for the executions, saying that over 70 percent of people in Taiwan support capital punishment. Following the execution of Teng Kuo-liang in Taipei, Chien Hen-liang, a prosecutor for the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office who oversaw the process, said justice has been carried out. Chen said the execution has brought relief to the family of Teng's victims. The executions, which took place across Taiwan, were the first in the country since April 19, 2013. (By Page Tsai, Liu Shi-yi and Kay Liu)
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