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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Defense report includes effort to improve human rights protection

ROC Central News Agency

2013/10/08 13:00:51

Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) The military's effort to improve human rights protection was highlighted in the 2013 National Defense Report released on Tuesday, a concession to the hot-button issue it became after an Army corporal died in July under questionable circumstances.

The Ministry of National Defense has begun efforts to improve its disciplinary system to ensure human rights protection, according to the report compiled by the Ministry of National Defense.

The military has proposed 13 reform measures that focus on ensuring human rights, making sure servicemen have a channel for filing complaints and reporting abuses, and reviewing disciplinary confinement regulations.

Among the measures being put in place are improving administrative procedures for disciplinary confinement and the facilities where military personnel are confined as well as establishing reasonable exercises used to punish those detained, the report said.

The focus on a complaint mechanism and confinement was a direct response to the death of Army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu, who was wrongfully confined and died July 4 after being subjected to days of strenuous exercises in stifling heat.

The incident sparked a public outcry, brought down the minister of defense and forced the government to turn over trials of military personnel to civilian courts during peacetime.

The military has already implemented some of the measures, said ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he at a news conference held to present the defense report.

First published in 1992, the 12th National Defense Report contains chapters on 'Strategic Environment,' 'General Plan of National Defense,' 'National Defense Capabilities,' and 'All-out National Defense.'

Published every two years, the report aims to help the public understand the concept of national defense and its achievements, the military said.

(By Elaine Hou)

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