2013年8月28日 星期三

敘利亞內戰 Obama Weighs ‘Limited’ Strike /伊朗叫囂/紐約時報本月被敘利亞的駐蘇網軍駭倒2次



Obama Weighs ‘Limited’ Strikes Against Syrian Forces

WASHINGTON — President Obama is considering military action against Syria that is intended to “deter and degrade” President Bashar al-Assad’s government’s ability to launch chemical weapons, but is not aimed at ousting Mr. Assad from power or forcing him to the negotiating table, administration officials said Tuesday.
A wide range of officials characterized the action under consideration as “limited,” perhaps lasting no more than one or two days. The attacks, which are expected to involve scores of Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from American destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, would not be focused on chemical weapons storage sites, which would risk an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe and could open up the sites to raids by militants, officials said.
The strikes would instead be aimed at military units that have carried out chemical attacks, the headquarters overseeing the effort and the rockets and artillery that have launched the attacks, according to the options being reviewed within the administration.
An American official said that the initial target lists included fewer than 50 sites, including air bases where Syria’s Russian-made attack helicopters are deployed. The list includes command and control centers as well as a variety of conventional military targets.
Perhaps two to three missiles would be aimed at each site, a far more limited unleashing of American military power than past air campaigns over Kosovo or Libya.
Some of the targets would be “dual use” systems, like artillery that is capable of firing chemical weapons as well as conventional rounds. Taking out those artillery batteries would degrade to some extent the government’s conventional force — but would hardly cripple Mr. Assad’s sizable military infrastructure and forces unless the air campaign went on for days or even weeks.
The goal of the operation is “not about regime change,” a State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said Tuesday. Seeking to reassure the public that the United States would not be drawn into a civil war in the Middle East, and perhaps to lower expectations of what the attack might accomplish, Obama administration officials acknowledged that their action would not accomplish Mr. Obama’s repeated demand that Mr. Assad step down.
Some lawmakers have warned that the operation might turn out to be a largely symbolic strike that would leave the Assad government with the capability to mount sustained attacks against civilians with artillery, rockets, aircraft and conventional arms and would do little to reduce the violence in Syria, limit the flow of refugees or encourage Mr. Assad to negotiate seriously if a Geneva peace conference is convened.
Representative Eliot L. Engel of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, suggested in an interview that the attacks go further than what appears to be under consideration by the administration, including strikes on the Syrian Air Force, its munitions depots and military fuel supplies to “tip the battle in favor of the insurgents.”
“We should try to help the rebels and help the people fighting Assad,” Mr. Engel said.
Frederic C. Hof, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who previously worked on Middle East issues for the State and Defense Departments, has urged that the Obama administration consider a broader military mission: destroying or significantly degrading the ability of the Assad government to carry out intensive artillery, aircraft and rocket attacks with conventional as well as chemical warheads on the civilian population.
“Something that is significantly less than that, something that is seen as symbolic, I think would just enable Bashar al-Assad to say I have stood up to the world’s only superpower and faced it down,” he said.
The main American attack is expected to be carried out by cruise missiles from some or all of the four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers within striking range of Syria in the Mediterranean: the Mahan, the Barry, the Gravely and the Ramage.
Each ship carries about two dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles, a low-flying, highly accurate weapon that can be launched from safe distances of up to about 1,000 miles. Tomahawks were used to open the conflicts in Afghanistan in 2001, in Iraq in 2003 and in Libya in 2011. Attack submarines also carry Tomahawks and are assumed to be on station in the Mediterranean as well.
Officials said that while Syrian rocket and artillery sites were expected to be targeted, there were no current plans to use Tomahawks to crater airfields used by the government to receive weapons and military supplies from Iran, an important lifeline for the Assad government.
Weapons experts said that Tomahawk missile strikes, while politically and psychologically significant, could have a limited tactical effect. The weapons are largely fuel and guidance systems and carry relatively small high-explosive warheads. One conventional version contains about 260 pounds of explosives and another version carries about 370 pounds. Each is less than the explosive power of a single 1,000-pound air-dropped bomb.
The weapons are not often effective against mobile targets, like missile launchers, and cannot be used to attack underground bunkers. Naval officers and attack planners concede that the elevation of the missile cannot entirely be controlled and that there is a risk of civilian casualties when they fly slightly high.
Some officials have also cautioned that Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants might step up terrorism around the region in reaction to American strikes on Syria. Another risk is that Mr. Assad might respond to the attack by firing missiles at Turkey or Jordan or mounting even more intensive attacks against civilians.
Although some experts believe that the Syrian government already has its hands full trying to contain the rebels and would not relish a war with the United States, they say that the Obama administration needs to be prepared for another round of airstrikes should Mr. Assad raise the stakes.
In an indicator of the complexities within Syria’s civil war, and the difficulties faced by the Obama administration in any effort to guide the conflict’s path, jihadi fighters opposed to Mr. Assad were warning one another to take steps to avoid being hit in any impending American attacks.
On Monday night, one prominent member of the Nusra Front, a rebel group aligned with Al Qaeda and designated a terrorist organization by the United Nations and the United States, used a Facebook posting to urge fellow members to move away from their bases or positions in Syria.
“All fighters in Jabhat al-Nusra,” he wrote, using the organization’s Arabic name, “please constantly change your positions and don’t share anything online. There is a conspiracy by America and its tails to hit our positions.”
Attacking chemical weapons storage sites comes with the same difficulties and risks associated with attacking munitions depots generally, and with its own special dangers, which the American military encountered in two wars in Iraq. First among them are risks of contamination to the very Syrian civilians that any military action would officially be intended to protect.
Many veterans suspect that some of the effects of Gulf War syndrome that afflicted veterans of the Persian Gulf war of 1991 were caused by exposure to chemical weapons released in clouds by conventional airstrikes against Iraq’s chemical weapons sites in southern Iraq.
After the first gulf war, an American Army unit near Kuwait breached chemical weapons while destroying conventional munitions at Khamisiyah, creating an environmental hazard that persisted throughout the American occupation of Iraq after the invasion in 2003.
Similarly, airstrikes in 1991 on bunkers at the Muthanna chemical weapons complex near Samarra, Iraq, led to security and environmental problems that continue to the present day.
During the Clinton administration, the United States and its NATO allies carried out extensive airstrikes against Serb forces in Bosnia, which weakened them to the point that a peace settlement to end the Bosnia war was negotiated in 1995 at an American Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio.
Similarly in Kosovo in 1999, an intensive NATO air campaign that lasted 78 days led to an agreement in which Yugoslav forces withdrew from Kosovo, and the region achieved autonomy and eventually independence.
Mr. Obama’s national security aides have been studying the NATO air war in Kosovo as a possible blueprint for acting militarily in Syria without a mandate from the United Nations.



Strike on Syria Would Cause One on Israel, Iran Declares

Iranian lawmakers and commanders issued stark warnings to the United States and its allies on Tuesday, saying any military strike on Syria would lead to a retaliatory attack on Israel fanned by “the flames of outrage.”
The warnings came against a backdrop of rising momentum among Western governments for a military intervention in the Syria conflict over what the United States, Britain, France and others have called undeniable evidence that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used banned chemical weapons on civilians last week, killing hundreds. Mr. Assad has accused the insurgents who are trying to topple him of using such munitions.
Iran, which itself came under chemical weapons assault by Iraq during its eight-year war in the 1980s, has been a loyal ally of the Syrian government. Iranian hard-liners often say Syria is Iran’s first trench in a potential war with hostile Western powers. Iran has blamed Israel for the conflict in Syria, saying Israel is trying to bring down Mr. Assad.
“In case of a U.S. military strike against Syria, the flames of outrage of the region’s revolutionaries will point toward the Zionist regime,” the semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Mansur Haqiqatpur, an influential member of Parliament, as saying on Tuesday.
At the same time Iran has always taken the moral high ground on the issue of chemical weapons, actively opposing their use. If it turns out that Mr. Assad’s side deployed the weapons, it will be difficult for Iranian leaders to explain their support for the Syrian president to their people, analysts point out.
A potential military intervention by the United States in Syria also represents a test for Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, who condemned the use of chemical weapons on his Twitter account on Monday, but stopped short of blaming either side in the Syrian conflict.
On Tuesday the new foreign minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, stressed that Iran condemned the use of chemical weapons by any group. He also said Iran had pressed the Syrian government to assist the United Nations weapons inspectors who are in the country conducting an inquiry.
There is no evidence, he said, that chemical weapons were used by the Syrian government. But in remarks quoted by the official Islamic Republic News Agency. Mr. Zarif said there was some evidence that such munitions had been given to what he called Takfiri groups, referring to Syria’s insurgents. Takfiri is a disparaging term used by Muslims for extremist groups that accuse others of apostasy.
Many analysts close to Mr. Rouhani privately say that Syria is an obstacle to change inside Iran. The country’s hard-liners say any attack on Syria is in fact an act of war against Iran, and point to a support pact in which both nations have vowed to defend each other in case of a military attack by a third country.
“Naturally Iran does not want to lose Syria as a foothold in the region,” said Davoud Hermidas-Bavand, a professor of international relations at Allameh Tabatabaei University in Tehran.
“But in the long run a solution for Syria will mean that officials in Tehran can soften their stance towards the U.S.,” he said. “It means we would have a more open domestic atmosphere.”
Iran is widely seen as having close coordination with Hezbollah, the militant Shiite Lebanese organization that is an ideological ally. Both regard Israel as a common enemy, and Hezbollah is reported to have many rockets deployed in southern Lebanon capable of striking deep into Israeli territory.
Iran and Hezbollah are heavily engaged in helping Mr. Assad’s side in the Syria conflict. Iranian military advisers have been seen in Syria, and Iran provides military support and training to Hezbollah fighters, who have joined the Syrian armed forces in recent months retake rebel-held areas.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, meeting with visiting Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said of Oman in Tehran on Monday, predicted the Syrian conflict would escalate far beyond its borders if other regional nations continued to aid the Syrian opposition.
“Their supporters must know that this fire will finally engulf them as well,” Mr. Khamenei said, according to the Mehr news agency.

Kerry Says Chemical Arms Attack in Syria Is ‘Undeniable’

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the Obama administration would hold the Syrian government accountable for what he called a “moral obscenity” that had shocked the world’s conscience.

A Sharp Shift in Tone on Syria From the White House

An Obama aide said that there was “very little doubt” that Syrian forces had used chemical weapons and that Syria’s promise to allow United Nations inspectors access to the site was “too late to be credible.”

Air War in Kosovo Seen as Precedent in Possible Response to Syria Chemical Attack

President Obama's national security aides are studying the NATO air war in Kosovo as a possible blueprint for acting without a mandate from the United Nations.

Syrian soldiers see chemical agents in rebel tunnels: state TV

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Analysis & Opinion

Time for action on Syria
Leaders demand Syria allow U.N. to investigate into alleged chemical attack

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U.N. chief warns of serious consequences if chemical weapons used in Syria

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U.N. chief warns of serious consequences if chemical weapons used in Syria
A lot riding on U.N. team now in Syria: ex-top weapons investigator

By Oliver Holmes

BEIRUT | Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:44am EDT

(Reuters) - Syrian state television said troops found chemical agents in rebel tunnels in a Damascus suburb on Saturday and some soldiers were "suffocating", intensifying a dispute over blame for a reported nerve gas attack that killed hundreds this week.
The top U.N. disarmament official arrived in Damascus on Saturday to seek access for inspectors to the site of the attack and the United States was realigning naval forces in the region to give President Barack Obama the option for an armed strike on Syria.
Syrian opposition accounts that between 500 and well over 1,000 civilians were killed by gas in munitions fired by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, and video footage of victims' bodies, have heightened calls in the West for a robust, U.S.-led response after 2-1/2 years of international inaction on Syria's conflict.
In a clear attempt to strengthen the government's denials of responsibility for the suspected chemical assault, Syrian state television said soldiers came across chemical agents in rebel tunnels in the suburb of Jobar and some were overcome by fumes.
"Army heroes are entering the tunnels of the terrorists and saw chemical agents," it quoted a "news source" as saying. "In some cases, soldiers are suffocating while entering Jobar. Ambulances came to rescue the people suffocating in Jobar."
An army unit was preparing to storm the insurgent-held suburb, the television added.
Syrian opposition activists accuse Assad's forces of firing nerve gas projectiles into Jobar and other rebellious suburbs before dawn on Wednesday. Later in the week, activists crossed front lines around Damascus to smuggle out tissue samples from victims of the attack.
The Syrian government says it would never resort to chemical weapons against Syrian citizens and in the past has accused rebels of doing so for battlefield advantage, an allegation Western leaders have dismissed.
Assad's government has suggested rebels may have carried out the latest attack themselves to provoke foreign intervention.
Obama has long been hesitant to intervene in Syria, wary of its position straddling faultlines of wider sectarian conflict in the Middle East, and he reiterated such reluctance on Friday.
But, in a development that could raise pressure on Obama to act, American and European security sources said U.S. and allied intelligence agencies had made a preliminary assessment that chemical weapons were used by pro-Assad forces this week.
Major world powers - including Russia, Assad's main ally which has long blocked U.N.-sponsored intervention against him - have urged the Syrian leader to cooperate with a U.N. inspection team that arrived on Sunday to pursue earlier allegations of chemical weapons assaults in the civil war.
U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane arrived to Damascus on Saturday to press for a Syrian government green light for inspectors to examine areas of Damascus suburbs said to have been targeted on Wednesday.
Assad's government has not said whether it will give such access despite increasing pressure from the United Nations, Western and Gulf Arab countries and Russia. If confirmed, it would be the world's deadliest chemical attack in decades.
Washington said on Friday it was repositioning warships in the Mediterranean, although officials cautioned that Obama had made no decision on any military move. A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the navy would expand its presence there to four destroyers from three.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, en route to Asia, said Obama had asked the Pentagon for options on Syria.
"The Defense Department has responsibility to provide the president with options for all contingencies," Hagel said. "And that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options - whatever options the president might choose." He did not elaborate.
The defense official said the USS Mahan, a destroyer armed with cruise missiles, had finished its deployment and was due to head back to its home base in Norfolk, Virginia. But, he said, the commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet has decided to keep the ship in the region.
Among the military options under consideration are targeted missile strikes on Syrian units believed responsible for chemical attacks or on Assad's air force and ballistic missile sites, U.S. officials said. Such strikes could be launched from U.S. ships or combat aircraft capable of firing missiles from outside Syrian airspace, thereby avoiding Syrian air defenses.
But the defense official stressed the Navy had received no orders to prepare for any military operations regarding Syria.
Obama's senior national security advisers will convene at the White House this weekend to discuss U.S. options, including possible military action, against the Syrian government, another U.S. official said.
A senior State Department official said no final decisions were expected from the meeting pending a further review of intelligence on the suspected chemical attack.
The security sources said the assessment was preliminary and, at this stage, they were still seeking conclusive proof, which could take days, weeks or even longer to gather.
Obama called the incident a "big event of grave concern" and one that demanded U.S. attention, but said he was in no rush to get war-weary Americans "mired" in another Middle East conflict.
Asked about his comment - made a year and a day before the toxic fumes hit sleeping residents of rebel-held Damascus suburbs - that chemical weapons would be a "red line" for the United States, Obama was circumspect.
"If the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it," he said. "The notion that the U.S. can somehow solve what is a sectarian complex problem inside of Syria sometimes is overstated."
While the West accused Assad of a cover-up by preventing the U.N. team from heading out to Damascus suburbs, Russia said the rebels were impeding an investigation.
Obama's caution contrasted with calls for action from NATO allies, including France, Britain and Turkey, where leaders saw little doubt Assad's forces had staged pre-dawn missile strikes.
But more than two years into a civil war that has divided the Middle East along sectarian lines, a split between Western governments and Russia again illustrated the international deadlock that has thwarted outside efforts to halt the killing.

中國遍地摩天大樓動工.......稍停...... Across China, Skyscrapers Brush the Heavens

Square Feet

Across China, Skyscrapers Brush the Heavens

Broad Group, the manufacturer behind the project, plans to use factory-built modules of steel and concrete.
Timothy O'Rourke for The New York Times
CHANGSHA, China — China is slowing down, but the buildings keep going up — until now.
China is home to 60 of the world’s 100 tallest buildings now under construction. But the skyward aspirations of Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, have inspired incredulity tinged with hostility.
Broad Group, a manufacturer based here in Changsha, has been planning to erect the world’s tallest building here this winter, and in record time. The 202-story “Sky City” is supposed to be assembled in only four months from factory-built modules of steel and concrete early next year on the city’s outskirts. The digging of foundations began on July 20.
But the project’s scale and speed have set off a burst of national introspection in recent days about whether Chinese municipal leaders and developers have gone too far in their increasingly manic reach for the skies.
Work has begun at the site of the proposed 202-story skyscraper in Hunan Province, though final approval is still “in progress” from building safety experts.
Timothy O'Rourke for The New York Times
“The vanity of some local government officials has determined the skylines of cities,” an editorial in the People’s Daily newspaper, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece, said on Aug. 12.
On Tuesday, the tycoon behind the project said in a telephone interview that he had ordered a pause in work at the site while waiting for further approvals from regulators in Beijing.
“It’s because of all the concern in the media and on the Internet, the government is a little wary and has slowed down the process,” said Zhang Yue, the chairman of the Broad Group.
But he vowed to finish the building, saying that he expected a delay of no more than two to three months, with completion of the building in June or July next year instead of the original plan of finishing it in April. Workers have already dug a large hole in the ground for the foundations and have just laid a four-lane road to the site to bring in heavy equipment.
Zhang Yue, the founder of Broad Group, made his fortune selling energy-efficient central air-conditioning systems. He is confident the project will be completed.
Timothy O'Rourke for The New York Times
“No matter how high the obstacles, I will for certain overcome them to make sure this project is completed,” Mr. Zhang said. He declined to identify who in Beijing had delayed his project, but said that he had not been asked to make any adjustments to the design.
David Scott, a prominent structural engineer in London who has worked on many extremely tall buildings, said that regulatory delays were a periodic problem for such projects all over the world, but could usually be overcome.
Local officials here say that while they have transferred the land for Sky City to Broad Group and have been installing electricity and water lines for the project, final approval for the project is still “in progress” from building safety experts in Beijing.
The blueprints for Sky City call for a stack of long, skinny rectangles that taper to a narrow top, like a very tall and angular wedding cake. It bears a blocky resemblance to the 110-story Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly the Sears Tower, which was the world’s tallest building until 1998 but is now being left in the shade by numerous rivals.
A 30-story hotel that was built in 15 days by Broad Group.
Timothy O'Rourke for The New York Times
Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Chongqing, each similar in population to metropolitan New York, are now finishing one building apiece that will top the Willis Tower.
Wuhan, the size of greater Houston, is erecting two buildings taller than the Willis Tower and Tianjin, the size of metropolitan Chicago, is constructing three, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the Chicago nonprofit that tracks skyscraper bragging rights.
Ambitious local officials, together with state-owned companies and state-owned banks, stand behind most of these projects, raising fears that taxpayers may eventually pick up the bill if projects prove uneconomical.
“If you let the market decide, I don’t think a lot of these tall buildings would proceed,” said Chau Kwong Wing, a professor of real estate and construction at Hong Kong University. Despite public concerns, there is no sign so far that any of the many very tall buildings under construction in China has been canceled by regulators in Beijing, he and Mr. Zhang both noted.
Sky City is the most ambitious project of all, and so it has become the lightning rod for criticism of the trend. Chinese media have been openly skeptical about the project, questioning its safety, construction speed and the wisdom of relying on prefabricated modules.
But work nonetheless continued earlier this month at the site. Bulldozers sliced slabs of earth and six drilling rigs bored holes for a drainage system.
Mr. Zhang said in an interview at his headquarters here on Aug. 7 that he had all the approvals needed to start work, and he and other executives said that it was common in China to keep working pending further approvals.
If built as planned, the building would be only 10 meters, or 33 feet, taller than the 2,722-foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building since 2010. Sky City would cram 39 more floors into its height than the Burj Khalifa, partly because Sky City would be mostly apartments, which do not need the same hollow spaces under the floors as offices require for wiring and cooling. At Sky City, the ventilation shafts, electrical wiring and even indoor floor tiles will also be packed into the modules while they are still at the factory.
The bottom 15 floors would include offices, a school with kindergarten through eighth grade and clinics. A schematic from Broad Group shows a hotel near the top and a restaurant and coffee shop at the apex.
The emphasis on apartments reflects the reviving real estate boom in China — some in China and abroad call it a bubble — as the government has told state-owned banks to lend more in recent months, in response to signs of weaker economic growth.
Mr. Zhang insisted that the local government in Changsha is not bankrolling his project. But he said for the first time in the interview at his headquarters on Aug. 7 that while Broad Group remains the official owner of the building, he has negotiated deals in recent months for the sale of practically the entire building to “four or five” investment companies.
He said then that not all of these deals have been completed; on Tuesday, he declined to comment on whether the delay would affect his financing.
He declined to identify the buyers except to say that they were in the private sector, not part of the government, and were spending their own money instead of relying on bank loans. That would be an extremely unusual combination in China, where most large real estate developments depend on low-rate loans that politically connected companies and individuals obtain from state-owned banks.
Mr. Zhang made his first fortune selling energy-efficient central air conditioning systems. He then moved into construction four years ago, setting up what are now six factories here. Each factory is the length of five football fields laid end to end, and manufactures 13-foot by 51-foot modules for the assembly of high-rises.
Mr. Zhang is trying to sell franchises for building module factories to construction companies and steel mills around the world.
Mr. Zhang exudes confidence that Sky City tower will be built soon, even at the risk of immodesty. “Things that I envision are definitely going to get done, no doubt,” he said in an interview at his headquarters. “Ordinary people do not know the challenges and issues I face every single day. There are so many issues, 24 hours in a day are not enough for me to deal with all of them.”
People’s Daily was more glum, noting that the Empire State Building, completed in 1931, took about two decades to fill and become a commercial success — and was initially nicknamed the “Empty State Building.”
Hilda Wang contributed reporting.

2013年8月27日 星期二

薄熙來腐敗案開庭審理 II





對薄熙來這名“太子黨”和重慶前市委書記的審訊,本來意在 結束好幾個月來一直吸引中國公眾註意力的一齣戲。可到頭來,這場庭審看上去更像是一場大戲的序幕。自薄熙來手下的公安局長王立軍在2012年2月逃入美國 駐成都總領事館、曝光一個以謀殺和腐敗為主線的錯綜復雜的故事以來,中國公眾難得地窺見了自己國家的運行方式。中共將薄熙來送上法庭,讓他的很多不當行為 的細節泄露出來,是希望展現黨對法治的堅持。一個腐敗分子被清除出去。黨不會在司法正義面前卻步,即便這意味著一個高層黨員的身敗名裂。
如果那就是官方敘述的話,那麽它明顯是虛假的。薄熙來案件涉及氰化物投毒、法國別墅,以及在重慶實行的黑社會式管治,情節特別豐富。但證據似乎表 明,賄賂、腐敗和付諸暴力並非例外情況。相反,它們成了60年來權力未受挑戰的中國共產黨內部的通行做法,如今,中共官員能夠不受約束地獲取中國經濟轉型 產生的財富。隨著經濟增長放緩,普通百姓和黨的精英階層之間早就拉開的鴻溝只會造成更多摩擦。就此而言,站在被告席上的不只是薄熙來,而是中國共產黨本 身。
今日將繼續進行的這場庭審,公開程度超出預期,盡管選擇性而且延遲的庭審記錄意味著,世人得到的大致上是共產黨想要提供的版本。即便如此,值得圈點 的內容還是很多。薄熙來對價值數百萬美元的賄賂指控不屑一顧,似乎表明這些錢對他來說微不足道,不值得操心。有一種懷疑是,他的落馬並不是因為他腐敗得離 譜(盡管他很可能確實腐敗得離譜),而是因為他的聲望和他那種重拾毛澤東時代做法的政治風格,使他對黨內團結和政治精英階層的其他成員構成威脅。
中 國國家主席習近平希望把這場審判標榜為他的反腐敗努力的一部分。這是沒有說服力的。西方媒體的調查報道早已暴露了黨的高級官員的家屬聚斂的巨額財富。就在 上周,當局正式逮捕維權人士、一直參與呼籲官員公佈財產的許志永。習近平的反腐努力與其說是打擊貪腐,不如說是鞏固他在黨內的權力。
具有同樣潛在擔憂性的一點是,習近平似乎借用了薄熙來的一些衣缽。他沒有推動黨提高開放程度,而是走向相反的方向。黨被告知要警惕“七大危險”,包 括憲政、普世人權、公民社會和新聞自由。有一份文件警告黨內幹部,反對一黨制的人“製造事端,要求公開官員財產,利用互聯網反腐,反媒體控制和其他敏感話 題,煽動對黨和政府的不滿。”意思是清楚的:黨非但不會讓自己接受監督,而且將懲罰那些試圖挑戰其權威的人。從共產黨的視角看,這一強硬立場可能是有道理 的。然而,對於那些希望“父母官”更多展現開放和正直的中國人來說,這是個壞消息。


薄熙來失勢,是因為曾在他手下擔任公安局長的得力幹將王立軍在2012年2月逃入美國駐成都總領事館,並拿出證據證明,薄熙來的妻子谷開來投毒殺害了夫婦倆的前馬仔、英國商人尼爾•海伍德(Neil Heywood)。


媒體札記:濟南審判101小時(下) 2013-08-26
媒體札記:濟南審判101小時(上) 2013-08-26
薄案:大戲的序幕? 2013-08-26
薄熙來與王立軍在庭上交鋒 2013-08-26
薄熙來繼續強硬自辯 2013-08-23


薄熙來案一審結束將擇期宣判 2013-08-26



(德国之声中文网)薄熙来案庭审第二天,济南法院公布薄熙来妻子谷开来证明其受贿的录像证词。夫妻反目成仇成为本次案件中颇受众人关注的焦点之一。曾著有 《法庭内外:德国法律面面观》的旅德法学专家钱跃君表示:“直系亲属作证从法律上来说不太人道。因为顾及传统观念和家庭感情,所以德国法律规定,直系亲属 可以拒绝出庭作证。法治不能破坏传统道德。”

德国法学教授浩义泽(Robert Heuser)致力于研究中国法律, 他介绍说:“以视频形式阐述证词在德国尚不合法。据我所知,美国已采纳了这种形式。” 多次参加中德法治对话的自由记者一通也认为,谷开来的录像证词的取得方式不公开不透明,不能作为法律依据。


2012年4月10日,据中国官媒报道,中共中央宣布薄熙来已被解除中共政治委员、中央委员职务并被双规。一通强调,薄熙来的供词是在 双规期间取得,供词获得的程序无效,所以不存在翻供问题。浩义泽也证实说:“双规期间的供词在中国理论上也是不具法律效力。双轨的做法有悖中德法律中都需 要遵循的直接原则。该原则规定,庭审过程之外的供词,不具法律效力。”

据济南中原发布的庭审现场详情,薄熙来在庭审第一天就表示,他曾向中纪委违心承认受贿事实。钱跃君继续介绍,薄熙来在庭审中澄清了许多事实。按照西方的公 正的法庭判决,一般是只可能减轻罪刑,不可能加重罪刑。而“中国的法制是不公正的、是受到政治操纵进行的。中国法庭向来有坦白从宽、抗拒从严的传统。所以 说薄熙来的自辨只会让他的罪行加重。”浩义泽则认为:“薄熙来的否认了双规时的供词,表现了一种新的自信。事态必将因此会有新的发展。”


三位专家均表示本案的审理过程体现了中国法治的一定进步。钱跃君和浩义泽认为,从形式上来看,此案的庭审过程和西方国家相比并无大异。 钱跃君分析说:“但是因为中国的特殊环境,在我看来这是一场量身定做的审判,因为庭审之前就已经想好,何种数目公布于众是比较合理的,他们推算出行贿贪污 2500万,刚好判成死缓。实际上却远不止这个数目。”


不少中外法学专家表示,薄熙来有反驳的机会,标志中国法治的进步。而在一通看来,薄熙来案中他可以张口反驳,完全是因为政治考量大于法律考量。他说;“放 在这种大背景下来看,这并不能被称作法治进步,而更多是政治的进步,因为给了反对派发言的机会,不是公正的审判,而是政治斗争的延续。”


Bo Xilai trial as blogged by the court - Day Five

This screen grab taken from CCTV footage released on 26 August 2013 shows ousted Chinese political star Bo Xilai looking on as he stands on trial in the Intermediate People's Court in Jinan, east China's Shandong province Mr Bo said that his former police chief had feelings for his wife Gu Kailai
The court at which disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai is being tried has taken the unprecedented step of posting updates of his trial on Sina weibo, one of China's Twitter-like microblogs.
The fifth and final day of the trial saw both the prosecution and the defence making closing statements.
Prosecutors said Bo Xilai should not be shown leniency because of the seriousness of the charges against him. For his part, Mr Bo once again denied the charges of bribery, corruption and abuse of power.

'Superior orders' redacted

The trial began at 08:30 (00:30GMT) on Monday, with the prosecution making its statement. The court released its first transcript of the day about an hour later, but then removed the post at least once.

When the final version was up, a section appeared to have been removed. This appears to have contained a reference to Bo Xilai saying he was following orders of "superiors" in obtaining a fake medical certificate for his former police chief, Wang Lijun.

The first sign of Wang Lijun's fall from favour - which came ahead of his flight to the US consulate - came in a report in February 2012 that he had been sent for "holiday-style medical treatment".
The prosecution's statement made it clear there should be no leniency towards Mr Bo.
"The defendant's crimes are extremely grave, and he also refuses to admit guilt. As such, the circumstances do not call for a lenient punishment but a severe one, in accordance with the law," it read.
On his wife Gu Kailai's villa in Cannes, the prosecution said Mr Bo knew about it but did not act on the knowledge and did not ask her to return it.
Prosecutors also condemned Mr Bo for withdrawing a pre-trial confession.
"Over the past few days of the trial, the accused Bo Xilai has not only flatly denied a vast amount of conclusive evidence and facts of his crimes, he has also repudiated his pre-trial written testimony and materials," the prosecutor reportedly said.
"We take this opportunity to remind Bo Xilai: the facts of the crimes are objective, and can't be shifted around on your whim."

'He loved Gu'

The court released a second transcript of Bo Xilai's statement a few minutes before noon, in which Mr Bo rejected the prosecution's allegations and said his withdrawal of an earlier confession was lawful.
He also denied he received bribes from businessman Tang Xiaolin and that he was aware of businessman Xu Ming's financial dealings with his family.
As for Wang Lijun, Mr Bo was quoted as saying he blamed Wang's flight to the US consulate on his love for his wife, Gu Kailai.
"He was secretly in love with Gu Kailai," Mr Bo reportedly said. "He muscled in on my home, on my feelings, which is the real reason for his defection."
Mr Bo said he saw Wang confessing his feelings for Gu. Wang, Mr Bo said, was feeling so emotional that Wang slapped himself across the face eight times.
Gu Kailai told Wang, "I think you are not sane", to which Wang replied, "I have been insane, but now I am sane".
He said all his previous written confessions were done against his will. He said he "still had a hope at the time, which was to keep my party membership and to keep my political career alive".

Court concludes trial

A minivan believed to be carrying disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai leaves the Jinan Intermediate People's Court after the end of the fifth day of Bo's trial in Jinan, Shandong province 26 August 2013 A vehicle believed to be carrying Bo Xilai leaves the court in Jinan province
The court concluded the trial at about 13:40, but Mr Bo's final statement was not immediately released.
The verdict of the trial at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court would be delivered "at a date to be decided", says state news agency Xinhua.
Bo Xilai trial as blogged by the court - Day One
Bo Xilai trial as blogged by the court - Day Two
Bo Xilai trial as blogged by the court - Day Three
Bo Xilai trial as blogged by the court - Day Four

Bo Xilai speaking in court during his trial on Sunday, in an image taken from video.
Political Staging in Trial of Fallen China Official


What has most captivated ordinary Chinese - thanks to headlines in major state media outlets - is a mountain of testimony that depicts Mr. Bo as the archetypal corrupt official.


Jinan Intermediate People's Court, via Associated Press
這是2012年2月以來,這兩人為人所知的第一次見面。那時王立軍逃離了已由薄熙來掌管四年的西南部大城市重慶,前往附近城市的美國領事館。在那裡,王立軍告訴美國官員,薄熙來的妻子毒死了英國商人尼爾·海伍德(Neil Heywood),而他因知悉這起謀殺案,受到了薄熙來的迫害。
王立軍因叛逃和其他罪行被判處15年有期徒刑,他在周六的 審理中出庭作證。他戴着眼鏡,身穿白色襯衫,頭髮整齊地分開,與當年身為薄熙來手下的執法官員時的形象一樣。王立軍作證說,2011年11月14日,薄熙 來的妻子谷開來秘密地向他承認,她剛剛毒害了海伍德。王立軍與谷開來關係密切並保守了這個秘密,但在2012年1月下旬,他告訴薄熙來,海伍德是其妻毒害 的。
當天早些時候,被告人薄熙來否認了貪污的指控。之前,一名 前同事作證說,薄熙來安排谷開來接受了500萬元公款,該款項原用於2000年代初期的一項涉密建設項目。薄熙來說,在他的妻子發現他有外遇之後,她與他 們的兒子薄瓜瓜一起去了英國,在2000年到2007年之間主要生活在那裡,那時他們的兒子在那裡上學。薄熙來說,谷開來作為律師存了一大筆錢,大約有兩 三千萬元人民幣的現金和資產,約合330萬至500萬美元,而他的兒子有獎學金支持學業,因此他不需要貪污公款。
這名熟人,以及另一名了解庭審過程、接近薄熙來家庭的人士 透露,薄熙來在庭上提出的一些最有力的陳述,沒有記錄在現場實錄中,也並沒有發佈在法院的微博上。他們透露,薄熙來周四在庭上表示,他去年之所以向調查人 員承認受賄,是因為受到警告,其妻可能會被判處死刑,而他剛剛從哈佛大學(Harvard)畢業的兒子可能會被帶回中國受審。
周六在法庭上,王立軍作證說,薄熙來曾毆打他,並為了掩蓋 謀殺將他降級。但薄熙來說,他並未嘗試掩蓋,因為他絕不相信發生了謀殺。他向谷開來詢問了這一指控,但谷開來使他相信王立軍是在試圖陷害她。作為證據,她 展示了海伍德的死亡證明,上面有海伍德妻子的簽名,其中說他的死因是酗酒後心臟病發作。
黃安偉(Edward Wong)和安思喬(Jonathan Ansfield)是《紐約時報》駐京記者。Patrick Zuo對本文有研究貢獻。

Fallen Chinese Official, at His Trial, Faces Accuser Who Set Scandal in Motion

JINAN, China — In a dramatic high point of his trial, Bo Xilai, the fallen Communist Party star, faced off in court on Saturday with Wang Lijun, the former police chief whose flight to an American consulate last year set off the biggest scandal to shake the party in decades.
It was the first time the two were known to have seen each other since February 2012, when Mr. Wang fled the southwest metropolis of Chongqing, which Mr. Bo governed for four years, for the nearby consulate. There, Mr. Wang told American officials that Mr. Bo’s wife had poisoned a British businessman, Neil Heywood, and that Mr. Bo was persecuting Mr. Wang because he knew about the murder.

Mr. Bo stands charged with abusing his power through moves to suppress exposure of the Heywood murder, including demoting Mr. Wang. In his testimony on Saturday, Mr. Bo took blame, to a degree, for the episode leading to Mr. Wang’s flight.
“I made mistakes; I am very ashamed and I am willing to take appropriate responsibility, but whether it’s a crime or not a crime is another matter,” Mr. Bo testified. He added that he had not bent the law to protect his wife, because he did not believe that she had killed Mr. Heywood, and that he demoted Mr. Wang right before he fled for the consulate because he believed that Mr. Wang was unstable.
Mr. Wang, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for defection and other crimes, took the witness stand on Saturday for the prosecution. In glasses, a white shirt and neatly parted hair, he looked much as he did when he served as Mr. Bo’s enforcer. Mr. Wang testified that Mr. Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, secretly confessed to him on Nov. 14, 2011, that she had just poisoned Mr. Heywood. Mr. Wang was close to Ms. Gu and kept this a secret, but in late January 2012, he said, he told Mr. Bo that his wife had poisoned Mr. Heywood.
At a meeting the next day, he said, Mr. Bo bawled him out in front of other officials and punched him in the face. “My body was shaking a bit,” Mr. Wang said. “I discovered that the corner of my mouth was bleeding. Fluid was coming from my ears.”
In his testimony, Mr. Bo said he had slapped Mr. Wang for what he thought were fabricated accusations against his wife. “I couldn’t accept this, I was furious, I smashed a mug to the ground,” Mr. Bo said.
Besides the abuse of power charge, Mr. Bo is charged with taking bribes and embezzling amounts totaling $4.4 million. The abuse of power charge is the last one to be addressed in the trial, which began Thursday and is expected to run at least through Monday. Mr. Bo has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Mr. Bo, a populist politician and the son of a Communist revolutionary leader, was dismissed from his post in March 2012. Soon afterward, the murder allegations became public. Ms. Gu was convicted of murder a year ago and given a suspended death sentence, essentially life in prison.
On Saturday, lurid Bo family secrets were laid bare to millions of fascinated Chinese who have been following the trial on a running court microblog that party officials set up in an effort to give the trial an air of legitimacy.
Earlier in the day, the defendant rejected accusations of embezzlement after a former colleague testified that Mr. Bo had arranged for Ms. Gu to accept $820,000 of government money earmarked for a secret construction project in the early 2000s. Mr. Bo said that after his wife found out about an extramarital affair of his, she left for Britain with their son, Bo Guagua, and lived mainly there from 2000 to 2007, while their son was in school. Mr. Bo said Ms. Gu, a lawyer, had saved a lot of money — $3.3 million to $5 million in cash and assets — and his son had scholarships for his schooling, so he had no need to steal government money.
Mr. Bo’s admission of adultery was immediately seized on by Chinese Web portals, one of which posted the headline “Bo Xilai Admits in Court Having Had an Affair, Wife Took Son off to England in a Rage.”
It was an example of how China’s major state-approved news portals were presenting a unified voice to highlight the prosecution’s evidence against Mr. Bo or, as in the case of the affair, to taint him with scandal.
Last September, when the Communist Party announced its findings against Mr. Bo, it decided to include the accusation of adultery, saying he “had or maintained improper sexual relationships with a number of women.” A Bo family associate said Saturday that Mr. Bo and Ms. Gu both had had affairs going back before 2000.
The associate and another person close to the Bo family who has been briefed on the trial proceedings said some of Mr. Bo’s strongest assertions in court had been kept from the transcripts released on the court microblog. On Thursday, they said, Mr. Bo told the court that he had made one bribery confession last year to investigators only after being warned that his wife could be given the death sentence and his son, who had just graduated from Harvard, brought back to China to face charges.
“I felt like there were two other lives tethered to mine,” Mr. Bo told the court, using a Chinese proverb.
Another detail left out of the transcripts on Friday also involved the pressure Mr. Bo said investigators had put on him, the two family associates said. They said he had testified that he had been interrogated hundreds of times and fainted 27 times.
In court on Saturday, Mr. Wang testified that Mr. Bo had assaulted and then demoted him to cover up the murder. But Mr. Bo said there was no cover-up attempt because he never believed that a murder had occurred — he asked Ms. Gu about the allegation, but she convinced him that Mr. Wang was trying to frame her. As proof, she presented Mr. Heywood’s death certificate, signed by Mr. Heywood’s wife, which said he had died of a heart attack after heavy drinking.
“In my impression, Gu Kailai was a gentle and feeble woman; she couldn’t possibly kill someone,” Mr. Bo said.
Mr. Bo was seemingly afforded more room to speak on Saturday and mounted a feistier defense than he did a day earlier, according to one of the Bo family associates. He said officials had placed stricter courtroom limitations on Mr. Bo on Friday after his spirited defense on opening day, and tightened the information released on the microblog.
Chinese news media coverage of the courtroom drama on Saturday left no question that party authorities remained determined to dispense with Mr. Bo, who is expected to be sentenced to a long prison term. For three days now, no audio or video clips have been released in which Mr. Bo can be heard speaking. His statements are presented only via the transcripts.
An article on Saturday in The Legal Daily, an official newspaper under the guidance of the party’s political and legal affairs committee, concluded that the testimony on the embezzlement charges “proves deliberate corruption on his part.”
Patrick Zuo contributed research.

2013年8月26日 星期一

見證台灣一次社會革命: 軍審法修正 /公民1985行動聯盟 signal a maturing democracy /Taiwan implements amended military justice law


07月22 2013 一

1976年元月我下部隊當步兵排長 台北擎天崗上的獨立連.
我馬上知道連長的許多腐敗作為. 不過他還有些” (當時我的道德危機究竟怎克服的?)
很快我必須到基隆八斗子將排上的劉姓逃兵抓回來. 送到大直的營部去關禁閉. 我竟然能與他談笑之間送他去關禁閉他個子很大塊  全憑義氣答應跟我回部隊.
這次洪仲丘事件背後的集團腐敗問題 我很容易想像 部隊生態30幾年來沒什麼改變.  要改變部隊需要從根本上的軍隊獨立於法制系統拉出來. 不能讓軍隊有自己的司法系統  這是革軍隊的命 可能沒人做得到   但可能只有此一途才能有改善

 還仲丘公道!- 現場一小時

還仲丘公道!- 現場一小時
約18:40. 舞台上的年輕人說:
對! 重要的是我們要協力摧毀軍政界的那股股的破壞力量”

他們逃的逃 用拒馬擋我們
他們躲躲藏藏 在螢幕前對我們
近十幾萬的年輕人的正義呼籲 算計

身份加入 我說

  • 劉健雄Po Hwa Lin藍東顯以及其他 8 人都說讚。
    袁祝平 摧毀容易,建立新秩序則難,君不見茉莉花革的國家現在有那個是正常的,反而共產國家改變後都還好。
    星期日 18:52 ·
    Hanching Chung 袁兄. 外國包括共產. 我相信問題也是多多的. 兄沒見過我7月二十幾號的一篇. 談1976年我的軍旅經驗. 那幾天讓我反思. 結論就是 "1985"朋友的訴求 那是獨立得出的結論...


軍審法修正 洪仲丘案適用

立法院臨時會院會昨日三讀修正通過軍事審判法部分條文,現役軍人非戰時犯罪回歸一般司法機關追訴、審理,陸軍下士洪仲丘案適用,法案完成三讀後,多位民進黨立委在議場中高舉「仲丘,請安息吧!」等標語。 (記者廖振輝攝)
〔記 者曾韋禎、陳彥廷/台北報導〕施行數十年的軍事審判制度將出現革命性變革!立法院臨時會昨三讀通過「軍事審判法部分條文修正案」、「國家安全法第八條修正 案」,未來承平時期軍人犯罪全歸一般司法程序審理,僅戰時觸犯陸海空軍刑法及軍事相關特別法,才適用軍事審判。洪仲丘案將在新法公告後,移由一般法院審 理。
但 為配合相關配套修法,以及司法院、法務部、國防部等機關進行移轉作業,新法將分兩階段施行:軍人觸犯凌虐部屬、不當懲罰、阻撓部屬陳情、外患、瀆職、公共 危險(故意犯)、偽造公文書、殺人、傷害(致死、重傷)、妨害性自主、竊盜(在軍事處所內)、強盜及海盜、恐嚇及擄人勒贖等罪行者,於公布日起施行。觸犯 其他軍刑法及其特別法者,於公布日起五個月後施行。


「公民1985行動聯盟」成員八月三日當晚離開凱道前的合照。 (公民1985提供)
「公 民一九八五行動聯盟」八月三日號召二十五萬白衫軍走上街頭,開創了街頭運動的新模式,主要發動者柳醫師指出,如果二十五萬人站出來,都單純只是要洪案真 相,那這個社會對是非正義的價值觀就太狹隘了。公民,不該是選擇性正義。對於核四、服貿等爭議,「公民一九八五行動聯盟」今後未必是主導者,但是會默默去 支持這些爭取正義的活動。
柳醫師:七月十三日,我在網路上發了一篇文,號召版友們在七月 二十日包圍國防部,第二天來了三十九人,彼此第一次見面,當天我向大家做了簡報,說明我對這個活動的想像,以及我為什麼要定名為公民一九八五,獲得了大家 同意。我們同時建立了一個共識:這是一個悲劇,因此沒有英雄,不能收割,所有人若須受訪對外說明,要以非正面、不露全名的方式為之。
過程中 有五、六個人很自然的形成議題主導的核心,也擔任起活動設計的工作。此外,財務、糾察、醫療的分工陸續組建。最後有一百多人共同參與。八月三日送仲丘之 夜,我們在凱道中央特別安排了一個通道,那就是為了緊急救護之用的。當天有幾位民眾不適,其中一位確定是橫紋肌溶解,後送到台大醫院,即派上了用場。此 外,針對金錢的來源,我們建立了快速、公開、透明的公布流程,每筆錢如何來如何出,都要做清楚的交代。
百花齊放 捍衛民主
柳: 我們希望喚起一個精神、一個傳統出路之外的某個模式之後,大家今後可以百花齊放,基於如何捍衛公民的精神,以及對自由民主人權的堅持,各自去想像屬於自己 的模式。這是不分顏色與族群的。每個人都可以、也必須出來扮演角色,而非把希望放在「公民一九八五」身上,一遇到問題就想要呼叫「公民一九八五」。若是如 此,那表示我們的公民社會還不夠成熟。
核心價值 「公民」二字
左派旋律 力挺弱勢
做 為一個醫師,接觸的病人,多數是中下階級者,他們在經濟上的弱勢,導致他們在健康照護上的弱勢。台灣這個社會應該要有愈來愈多人站在雞蛋的這邊,而非城牆 的那邊。我們國家才會愈來愈有愛、溫暖。(記者註:村上春樹二○○九年領取耶路撒冷文學獎時演說指出,「在一座巨大堅實的牆和與之撞擊的雞蛋之間,我永遠 都站在雞蛋這一邊。」)
25萬人 不只為洪案
仲 丘這個案子擁有太多新聞性,很容易引起社會重視,相對起來,大埔、服貿、核四等等,社會上的討論就沒這麼多,所以我決定要挑戰,利用這個機會嗆聲台下群眾 是不是對許多議題具有選擇性正義?我心想,如果大家把我噓爆,罵我偷渡,那我就認了。這代表大家關注的程度就侷限在這個部分,真正的是非黑白大家看得不是 那麼重要。
於是我說:「大埔拆屋事件,大家覺得那件事情有正義嗎?那你們有多少人站出來了?就是因為大家不敢、不願出來,所以陳為廷跟楊儒 門才要去潑漆,引起社會關注,然後再被政府說他們是暴民。大家看看服貿協議,有正義嗎?你們有多少人站出來?就是因為大家不敢、不願意出來,所以這兩天, 一群大學教授、學生跟公民朋友,才必須衝立法院,流血、哀號。」

Taiwan implements amended military justice law

In this image taken on 20 July 2013, in Taipei, Taiwan, protesters hold posters that read "Give the truth" next to portraits of Taiwan soldier Hung Chung-chiu, who died in early July after being forced to perform a vigorous regime of calisthenics in sweltering heat on a base in suburban TaipeiHung Chung-chiu, 24, died after being punished for misconduct

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An amended law has come into effect in Taiwan which strips its military of the power to prosecute and punish its own personnel during peace time.
The transfer of more than 350 urgent cases of alleged wrongdoing by military personnel from military to civilian courts has begun.
The change was made following protests over the death of a conscript soldier who was punished for misconduct.
Military jails are to be closed and military courts shut down by January.
The cases transferred are considered the most urgent - they involve alleged inhumane treatment of subordinates or unjustified punishment by superiors.
More than 250 armed service personnel jailed in the military are also being transferred to civilian prisons to serve out the remainder of their sentences.
This is a significant change for Taiwan, which for decades was ruled under martial law, says the BBC's Cindy Sui in Taipei.
Resentment against the military is still strong not only because of the martial law era, but because it is widely considered as a place for profiteering and bullying, our correspondent adds.
Earlier this month, tens of thousands rallied in the capital, Taipei, to protest against the death of Hung Chung-chiu, 24, who died of organ failure brought on by heatstroke.
Cpl Hung was held in solitary confinement for bringing a mobile phone with built-in camera onto his military base - and was then subjected to arduous punishment exercises in the hot sun.
His case saw some 18 army officers being charged, and the resignation of the defence minister.
President Ma Ying-jeou has also publicly apologised and promised justice for the family.


Asia Pacific: Taiwan’s recent protests signal a maturing democracy


Instead of the usual political slogans, protesters now chant for social justice

 ...But there is also the undercurrent of social discontent among Taiwanese youth. According to Hong Kong’s Sing Pao newspaper, youth unemployment has reached 12 per cent on the island, while the CommonWealth magazine estimated up to 20 per cent of recent university graduates may be jobless.
The protest, pundits say, may be a growing sign of a displaced group of unemployed youth, unsatisfied not only with the Hung affair, but also with a government unable to spur job growth and provide economic relief to a growing class of educated-but-jobless citizens.
Further complicating the issue is Taiwan’s pledge to end military conscription in 2015. Experts say recruitment numbers were already below target before the Hung incident, as warming relations with China have made many question the need of military service.
With the lack of trust demonstrated by youth in Taiwan toward the military, it could be that the island’s government will now face an even more uphill battle in bolstering its military numbers.