The Legislative Yuan yesterday released a joint statement, endorsed by all party caucuses, denouncing Beijing’s “forced deportation” of Taiwanese from Kenya to China, which had “seriously infringed upon the basic human rights and the nation’s sovereignty.”
“The government has the responsibility to protect Taiwanese people’s safety and rights, which entail that any judicial procedure [that they are subjected to] should conform to international human rights standards,” the statement said.
“If extraterritorial crimes are involved, the suspects should be deported back to Taiwan for trial; if disputes over jurisdiction occur, negotiation should be the approach and international principles followed for reaching a solution,” it said.
It continued to slam the Chinese government for “forcing Taiwanese to be deported to China with rude and violent means that seriously violated human rights and personal freedom and also unnecessarily damaged China’s image among Taiwanese.”
“Beijing has snubbed the tacit agreement built with [Taiwan] since 2011 when dealing with these kinds of cases and slighted our sovereignty and jurisdiction claims, which has driven a wedge deeply in the bilateral relationship and obstructed the positive development between the two sides,” it said.
“We are asking the government to send officials to China, handle the matter in accordance with the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement (海峽兩岸共同打擊犯罪及司法互助協議), ensure the personal safety of the Taiwanese and ask the Chinese authorities to release the jailed Taiwanese immediately,” it added.
Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said that caucus representatives from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), New Power Party and People First Party yesterday attended a cross-caucus negotiation over the Kenya incident.
“The DPP caucus proposed to have the legislature deliver a joint statement to make clear its stance, and the caucuses concurred after the negotiation,” he said.
In addition to the joint statement, KMT caucus whip Lin Te-fu (林德福) called on young Taiwanese to pay attention to job advertisements abroad that boast high salaries that might be part of a scam.
“If you know it is a scam ring, do not participate in it. Do not make the world think that Taiwanese are all involved in these kinds of [shady] businesses,” he said.
When asked how the KMT caucus would respond to speculation that the Kenya incident was a warning from Beijing against the new government, Lin said: “We have to face reality as well; we had given light sentences to the fraudsters after they were extradited back to Taiwan, which had resulted in certain consequences.”
“The offenses should have been seen as organized crime, which carry heavy sentences. We do have some loopholes in our regulations that should be mended,” Lin said.
Meanwhile, fielding media questions concerning the latest development of the Kenya incident, Executive Yuan spokesperson Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said that in a cross-ministry meeting yesterday afternoon presided over by Premier Simon Chang (張善政), the Ministry of Justice made further clarifications on why the suspects in Kenya were not brought back to Taiwan.
“It said that since 2011 there indeed have been Taiwanese people, due to [legal reasons], being brought back to Taiwan from China, but only on the conditions that the criminal cases in which they were involved had victims on both sides [of the Taiwan Strait], or that the crimes were investigated by [the law enforcement agencies of] both sides,” Sun said.