Abuse definition draft amendment passed
By Joseph Yeh ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Executive Yuan yesterday passed a draft amendment to the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces (陸海空軍刑法) which clearly defines the term “abuse” to serve as a guideline for military personnel in training situations.
October 25, 2013, 12:27 am TWN
The draft amendment to Article 44 of the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces passed yesterday defines “abuse” as “those inhumane treatments imposed on military personnel that are not done for the purpose of military training, service, education or to support combat missions.”
The original article stipulates that a commander who “abuses” a subordinate will be punished with imprisonment of a term not less than three years and not more than ten years.
However, wording in the original version does not clearly define what constitutes a form of abuse, making it difficult for military personnel to follow regulations since many forms of military exercises involve grueling training, the Executive Yuan said.
The Executive Yuan also called on the Defense Ministry to make adjustments to its current training programs to meet the new standards set by the draft amendment.
The draft amendment also stipulates that the training marines must undergo before certification as frogmen, including the notorious “Road to Heaven” (天堂路) challenge which involves strenuous exertion along a 50-meter-long path littered with coral and rocks, does not constitute a form of abuse.
Such a training regimen, though it may seem like a form of torture to ordinary people, is a necessary step in cultivating qualified frogmen, the Executive Yuan said.
The draft amendment still needs to clear the legislative floor before taking effect.
Military to Make Adjustment
Asked to comment, military spokesman Luo Shou-he said yesterday that the Defense Ministry will soon hold meetings with all branches of the Armed Forces to devise concrete guidelines and specify the intensity of training that soldiers may undergo in the future.
The passage of the draft amendment was secured in the wake of a series of reforms of the military judicial system launched by the government following the controversy surrounding the July death of Army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), who was wrongfully held in a military brig.
The 24-year-old Hung, who was originally scheduled to be discharged from the Army on July 6, died of heat exhaustion on July 4 after performing a series of exercises in extremely hot weather conditions,