Sat, May 05, 2012 - Page 3 News List

China urged to improve Taiwanese detainee rights

MUST DO BETTER:One lawmaker brought up the case of a Chinese national who despite resolving his case was still in detention because of the lack of repatriation arrangements

Staff writer, with CNA

Several lawmakers and local human rights groups urged China to improve conditions for Taiwanese detained in China in light of efforts to improve conditions for Chinese detainees in Taiwan.

Several lawmakers visited a detention center in Yilan, which houses mainly Chinese illegal -immigrants, on April 24 and asked authorities to improve conditions there to allow more privacy and freedom for detainees, Cross-Strait Agreement Watch Association convener Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強) said.

According to Weng Chia-hung (翁嘉宏), a member of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, -detainees at the Yilan facility have little privacy, citing a lack of partitions between toilets. Detainees are only allowed outside twice a week and the facility does not provide legal counseling services, he said, adding that only three repatriation services are scheduled each year for Chinese detainees.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) highlighted a situation involving a Chinese detainee, who, despite having resolved his case, was still being detained at the center because of the limited repatriation arrangements.

The legislators and members of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Taiwan Democracy Watch and the Cross-Strait Agreement Watch Association said they hoped that the improvement in conditions at the an Yilan County detention facility would encourage Chinese authorities to do the same for Taiwanese detainees.

Lai said he hoped Beijing would allow Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) to visit Taiwanese prisoners in China and make public information the number of Taiwanese detained in China before Chiang’s meeting with Beijing’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) next month.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) said he hoped that by improving the rights of Chinese detainees in Taiwan, visitation rights for Taiwanese in China and the causes of their detention would be included as a central topic of discussion at the upcoming Chiang-Chen meeting.

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