Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mission accomplished?

The Taiwanese government has disbanded the Military Injustice Petitions Committee it created last year as part of the response to public outrage over the mistreatment of military personnel. Taipei Times has this report:
The Executive Yuan’s Military Injustice Petition Committee was disbanded on Thursday after a year of operation during which 133 cases were looked into and 11 referred to the judiciary for further investigation.
Since its establishment on Aug. 29 last year, the committee received 53 petitions from the public, either submitted in person or reported by telephone, while the committee took the initiative to look into 80 cases, the Executive Yuan said in the statement.
The committee was set up in response to a massive rally on Aug. 4 last year that saw about 200,000 people take to the streets in Taipei demanding truth about the death of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), better protection of human rights in the military and the reopening of previous cases of suspected military injustice.
Given that it was no longer receiving as many petitions as it did initially and that military personnel suspected of mistreating soldiers now face prosecution in civilian courts, committee members decided that they had completed their mission, the committee said in the statement.
The committee also said that it would present a report to the Ministry of National Defense about the death or disappearance of soldiers over the past 20 years, based on the cases it had investigated, to help the military identify the causes for such deaths and possible systematic flaws.
Click here for an interim report on the Petitions Committee's work (and here and here for Taiwan's 2013 legislation). The caseload numbers (again) seem not to tally: the current report refers to 133 cases (on application and sua sponte) while the January 2014 interim report referred to 182 applications.

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