EU's stance against death penalty is consistent: representative
Central News Agency
2014-05-09 11:09 PM
Taipei, May 9 (CNA) The European Union's stance against the death penalty is consistent and has never changed, the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taipei said Friday. The European Union opposes capital punishment under all circumstances and calls for its universal abolition, EETO head Frederic Laplanche said in Chinese in response to questions raised by reporters during a break in Europe Day celebrations in Taipei. The death penalty "is inappropriate and may make irreversible mistakes due to misjudging," he said, adding that the EU hopes to cooperate with every other nation to promote "a more enlightened way." In 2013, only 22 of over 200 countries in the world practiced capital punishment, according to Laplanche. "It is not a majority phenomenon anymore," he added. "It is a matter of cooperation not confrontation," Laplanche said. "We would like to cooperate, move forward and make progress together." The European Union expressed regret over Taiwan's execution of five death row inmates in late April and called for an immediate moratorium on executions. "I recognize the sufferings of the victims of the crimes involved, and express my sincere sympathy to their families. However, capital punishment can never be justified," Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said in a statement. The five inmates put to death on April 29 were found guilty of a total of 11 murders, Deputy Justice Minister Chen Ming-tang said in an announcement following the executions. Chen maintained Taiwan's stance on keeping the death penalty but reducing its frequency of use, citing the Ministry of Justice's efforts to review relevant laws. The number of death row inmates in Taiwan now stands at 47 after the executions, including two whose cases are being retried. Taiwan previously executed convicts on April 19, 2013, when six inmates were put to death. (By James Lee)
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