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Judicial CP - July 1997

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Central News Agency, Taipei, 5 July 1997

Flogging mulled to deter crime

By Lilian Wu

Taipei, July 5 (CNA) -- Minister of Justice Liao Cheng-hao said Saturday that his ministry would consider introducing flogging if the need arises.

In view of calls for Taiwan to follow Singapore's example and introduce flogging to deter crimes on the island, Liao said the ministry will have to take several things into consideration.

Noting that the Republic of China attaches great importance to human rights, Liao said that flogging may not be appropriate for Taiwan at the present stage.

But, stressing that any system should answer the needs of society and the aspiration of the public, he said that if social order is not markedly improved and criminals show no remorse for their offenses, and if most people then call for adding flogging to the list of possible punishments, then the ministry would seriously consider the proposal.

Liao made the remarks in a press conference, during which he also spoke of the results of an anti-organized crime campaign over the past year.

Between August 10, 1996 and July 4, 1997, district courts islandwide received cases involving 485 alleged gangsters, 350 of whom have been prosecuted, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Justice.

Liao said that though the crackdown on gangsters has been popular with the general public, recent violent crimes have again plunged people into fear.

He said the crackdown on gangsters will now be expanded to include such major, violent crimes as murder, kidnapping, rape, use of guns and drug trafficking.

He stressed the ministry will be firm in pursuing the crackdown so that the public will be free from fear.

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