From wrongful conviction to freedom – Conversation with an ex-death row inmate

Human Rights Friday

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Date: 20th October 2017
Time: 19:30-22:00
Venue: 4 Cats @ Quarry Bay (Flat 1101, 11/F, Eastern Centre, 1065 King's Rd)
Event details: Film screening and a Q&A session with Mr. Hsu Tzu-chiang; snacks and refreshments will be provided

The judiciary is often said to be the last resort for justice. In a society where the rule of law prevails, everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and impartial hearing by the independent courts. Yet, what can we do when the courts fail to deliver justice?

In the year of 1995, Hsu Tzu-chiang (then aged 26) was charged in Taiwan with the kidnapping, extortion and murder of Huang Chun-shu, businessman, with three co-defendants, two being his cousins and the remaining one being a close friend of his. Despite that Hsu had an alibi and that the Prosecution’s case against Hsu was solely based on the inconsistent statements made by the two co-defendants, Hsu was found guilty and sentenced to death. Having his case heard before more than 70 judges over 21 years, Hsu had been sentenced to death for seven times and life imprisonment for two times. Only after the ninth trial in 2015, the conviction of Hsu was overturned and Hsu finally regained his freedom after 16 years in detention.

Hsu’s story was recently told in a critically acclaimed documentary, which documents Hsu’s 21-year psychological journey from death row to freedom and explores why the judicial system in Taiwan had failed Hsu by convicting and sentencing him to the death penalty without corroborating evidence.

Amnesty International Hong Kong cordially invites you to join our event, From wrongful conviction to freedom – Conversation with an ex-death row inmate, where participants will have the opportunity to have a conversation with Mr. Hsu. It is also one of the events of the 15th World Day against the Death.

Amnesty International Hong Kong is currently providing support to five Hongkongers who were sentenced to death for drug-related offences and are awaiting execution in Southeast-Asian countries including Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia; some of these death row inmates were also subject to unfair trial. Indeed, death penalty and unfair trial are not as distant as we used to think.

40 years ago, when Amnesty International began campaigning against the #deathpenalty, only 16 countries had abolished the death penalty. This figure now stands at 105. Let’s not make it another 40 years before the death penalty becomes history.