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Taiwan

    May 17, 2019

    Responding to the news that lawmakers in Taiwan have passed a law that will see the island become the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, effective from 24 May, Annie Huang, Acting Director of Amnesty International Taiwan, said:

    “Taiwan has today made history in the fight for equality for LGBTI people. Love has won over hate, and equality has won over discrimination. This is a moment to cherish and celebrate, but it has been a long and arduous campaign for Taiwan to become the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

    “We hope this landmark vote will generate waves across Asia and offer a much-needed boost in the struggle for equality for LGBTI people in the region.

    “We are filled with pride and joy that from next Friday same-sex couples in Taiwan will be able to marry and finally have their love and relationships recognized as equal under the law. But the Taiwanese government must not stop here; it needs to act to eliminate all forms of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identities and intersex status.”

    Background

    February 21, 2019

    Responding to the release of a draft law which will act as a legal basis for recognizing same-sex marriage in Taiwan, Annie Huang, Amnesty International Taiwan’s Director, said:

    “This is a huge step forward for marriage equality in Taiwan. The draft law is the first of its kind in Asia to allow same-sex marriage. It sends a strong message to the Taiwanese people and the world that Taiwan chooses love over hate, and equality over discrimination.

    “We welcome the bill proposed by Taiwan’s Executive Yuan. It pursues the equal protection of the freedom of marriage for two persons of the same sex, upholding the principles and spirit as laid out in the Constitutional Court’s ruling on 24 May 2017.

    “There are some areas where this separate law falls short of genuine marriage equality. This will require future reforms to fully align opposite-sex and same-sex marriage in law.”

    Background

    August 31, 2018

    Amnesty International UK PRESS RELEASE

    39-year-old man executed by firing squad this morning - had originally received a life sentence

    First execution since 2016 is ‘a crushing setback to abolition hopes’

    Responding to the execution of a 39-year-old man in Taiwan today - the country’s first execution since President Tsai Ing-wen came to office in 2016 - Annie Huang, Amnesty International Taiwan’s Acting Director, said:

    “Today’s execution is a crushing setback to the abolitionist movement in Taiwan and an act that casts a shadow over Tsai’s presidency.

    “It is deeply disappointing that Taiwan has decided to resume the implementation of a cruel punishment, especially after President Tsai Ing-wen had stated clearly that her government aims to abolish the death penalty. That pledge now rings hollow.

    “We once again call on the Taiwanese authorities to establish an official moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolishing the death penalty once and for all.”

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    May 24, 2017

    A landmark ruling by Taiwan’s highest court means it is close to becoming the first in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, Amnesty International said.

    On Wednesday, judges in Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s current marriage law is unconstitutional as it discriminates against same-sex couples. The judges have given lawmakers two years to amend or enact relevant laws.

    “The judges have today said yes to marriage equality. This is a huge step forward for LGBTI rights in Taiwan and will resonate across Asia,” said Lisa Tassi, East Asia Campaigns Director at Amnesty International.

    “Lawmakers must act swiftly to ensure Taiwan becomes the first in Asia to make genuine marriage equality a reality.”

    A draft bill on same-sex marriage is currently being considered by Taiwan’s legislature. Amnesty International urges lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan, on the same basis and with the same rights as marriage between couples of different sex.

    “As today’s ruling makes clear, whoever you love, everyone is entitled to the same human rights and equal protection under the law,” said Lisa Tassi.

    June 05, 2015

    The execution of six people in Taiwan today is a regressive decision that does not deliver justice, Amnesty International said.

    The six men were executed by firing squad at four different prisons in Taiwan earlier this evening. All had been convicted of murder.

    The executions were carried out amidst public outrage following the abhorrent murder of an eight year old girl in Taipei last week.

    “The public outrage at the horrific murder of an innocent schoolgirl is totally understandable and the perpetrators of such heinous crimes must face justice, but the death penalty is never the answer,” said William Nee, researcher at Amnesty International.

    “The decision to carry out the executions reeks of political calculations by a government attempting to gain points by quelling public anger. The government has today demonstrated a failure of political leadership.”

    The six men executed by firing squad were: Cheng Chin-wen, Wang Hsiu-fang, and Tsao Tien-shou at a prison in Taipei; Wang Chun-chin at a prison in Tainan; Wang Yu-lung at a prison in Kaohsiung; and Huang Chu-wang in Taichung.

    February 10, 2015

    The Taiwanese authorities must drop criminal charges against people solely for participating in or organizing peaceful demonstrations, Amnesty International said, after more than 100 people were charged for protesting during the so-called “Sunflower Movement”.

    “While the government has been keen to press charges against the student leaders and citizen activists who took part in the Sunflower Movement, it seems content to let the police and politicians who may have carried out human rights abuses at the Executive Yuan get away without any independent investigation,” said William Nee, Amnesty International Researcher.

    “The right to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental human right, and all states have a positive obligation to facilitate this right in law and practice.”

    In contrast to the criminal investigations against the protesters, to date there has been no thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the police conduct during the removal of protesters from the Executive Yuan and surrounding areas on 23/24 March.

    March 19, 2014

    The Taiwanese security forces must protect and respect human rights in any response to the hundreds of protestors that have occupied the nation’s parliament, said Amnesty International.

    Approximately 200 students occupied the parliament in Taipei on Tuesday evening to protest against a proposed trade deal with China.

    Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director, commented:

    “The situation is clearly tense and the security forces are urged to show restraint. While police have a duty to maintain order and to protect the safety of the public, the response must only be proportionate to the threat.

    “Force should only be used as a last resort and to achieve a legitimate aim. The authorities must ensure the rights of all those protesting are upheld and respected.”
     

    For further information or to arrange an interview with an Amnesty International expert, please contact: Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Realtions 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca
     

    April 19, 2013

    aiwanese authorities executed six men on Friday night in what Amnesty International said was a cruel change of heart from their earlier stated commitment to abolish the brutal practice.

    Those put to death were: Chen Tung-Jung, Chen Jui-Chin, Lin Chin-Te, Chang Pao-Hui, Li Chia Hsuan, and Chi Chun-I.

    These latest executions come only a few months after Taiwan put to death six other inmates in December 2012, the only executions carried out in the country last year. 

    “A dozen executions in Taiwan in less than six months raises serious questions about the authorities’ pledges to abolish the death penalty,” said Catherine Baber, Asia-Pacific Programme Director at Amnesty International. 

    “President Ma Ying-jeou should impose an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty to engage in a national debate about abolishing its use in the future.”

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