In 1988, Chiou Ho-Shun and 11 other defendants were accused of murdering and dismembering a female insurance worker named Ko Hung Yu-lan in November, 1987, and kidnapping a student named Lu Cheng in December. After 11 trials, Chiou Ho-Shun was sentenced to death in 2011.
However, the cases against Chiou Ho-Shun are rife with errors; the prosecution tortured the defendants multiple times to extract confessions, and key evidence from the case went missing during the trials. The court’s verdict was built entirely on 288 confessions –many of which self-contradict- written by the defendants, and an unreliable examination of a ransom call audio recording. No other evidence implicate the defendants. The head and limbs of Ko Hung Yu-lan’s severed corpse were never discovered, nor was the student Lu Cheng (or his body) ever found.
The 13 ransom call recordings in the Lu Cheng case were examined by a professional voiceprint identification lab at the request of a group of pro bono lawyers. The lab concluded that the police voiceprint identification conclusion in the case was scientifically unreliable, and is insufficient to conclude that the defendant(s) made the ransom call. This lab inspection report should be sufficient to throw out the only physical evidence used to reach the guilty verdict.
In June, 2019, the first human rights court in Asia – Asian Human Rights Court Simulation (AHRCS) – agreed to hear this case, with Chiou as the Applicant and the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) as the respondent. After months of preparation and four days in court, the AHRCS ruled that the government of ROC has violated Article 7 and Article 14 of the ICCPR . This verdict is yet another display of international attention to the Chiou Ho-Shun cases, and a direct review of ROC’s violation of human rights relating to his cases.
Chiou Ho-Shun is still behind bars at the Taipei Detention Center after 31 long years, awaiting his execution. All legal remedies have been exhausted. The Taipei Detention Center has limited spacing; air circulation, food, sanitation, and health services are all extremely lacking. Chiou Ho-Shun suffers from cardiac and skin issues, low blood pressure, and tooth exfoliation. To wrongfully keep him in prison at his advanced age and poor health condition is gravely inhumane.
The Chiou Ho-Shun Case Lawyers Group and human rights organizations strongly oppose any violation of the guarantee to fair trials, and condemn such torture and inhumane treatment. The legal system and the government should protect the people's dignity and personal safety at all costs.
We call for President Tsai Ing-wen: To stop the execution of Chiou Ho-Shun, pardon and release Chiou Ho-Shun, and restore his reputation.
邱和順案義務律師團 Chiou Ho-Shun Case Lawyers Group
民間司法改革基金會 Judicial Reform Foundation
廢除死刑推動聯盟 Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty
台灣人權促進會 Taiwan Association for Human Rights
冤獄平反協會 Taiwan Innocence Project
人權公約施行監督聯盟 Covenants Watch
國際特赦組織台灣分會 Amnesty International Taiwan
台灣陪審團協會 Taiwan Jury Association