The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that a report published by an international human rights organization expressing concerns over the deportations of Taiwanese fraud suspects to China is expected to exert pressure on the parties concerned.
At a news conference in Taipei yesterday morning, Department of West Asian and African Affairs Director-General Antonio Chen (陳俊賢) said since the deportation of 45 Taiwanese citizens to Beijing earlier last month, his colleagues on the front line have endeavored to seek assistance.
“Now the case has gained the attention of two human rights groups — Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch — whose [Human Rights Watch] China director Sophie Richardson published a report on the incident on April 24,” Chen said.
In the report, Ending Extra-legal Deportations to China, Richardson voiced doubt that the 45 Taiwanese, some of them acquitted by Kenyan courts, would receive a fair trial in China.
“Soon after Kenyan courts acquitted the suspects, the Taiwanese — and perhaps the mainlanders [sic] — were put on planes and sent to China. Images of the hooded and shackled Taiwanese in transit, as well as the subsequent broadcast of some of their ‘confessions,’ offer little reassurance that they will enjoy any semblance of a fair trial,” Richardson wrote.
Richardson went on to draw attention to two critical legal issues that she said have been overlooked in the ensuing diplomatic storm sparked by the case.
“The first: that there was a Kenyan court order blocking the deportation of the Taiwanese from the country. Why Kenyan officials ignored that order remains unclear,” Richardson said.
The second issue is Nairobi’s failure to comply with international human rights laws and provide the Taiwanese with an opportunity to contest their deportations, Richardson said, adding that the Taiwanese might have raised legal objections to their extradition to China or expressed fears about mistreatment there.
Richardson concluded the report by urging nations pressured by China to ensure the enforcement of the law and to respect the rights of those facing extradition.
“We expect this report to exert some sort of pressure on the Kenyan government. Hopefully, it could lead to respect for the rights of five Taiwanese citizens still awaiting a court ruling on their alleged involvement in telecom fraud in Nairobi,” Chen said.
Chen added that the Kenyan case has apparently left a blot on China’s human rights record.
Turning to the situation of 39 Taiwanese serving a two-year prison term for telecom fraud in Egypt, who are set to be released in October, Chen said the ministry has managed to establish contact with the Egyptian authorities and has taken some “preventative measures.”
“We are going to do everything we can to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty. Our priority is to ensure the return of these citizens to Taiwan, but Chinese pressure is still a decisive factor in the final outcome,” Chen said.
A survey of young Taiwanese showed that only 36.5 percent of men and 19.6 percent of women believe marriage is important, a trend that academics say is key to the nation’s low birthrate. Yang Wen-shan (楊文山), an adjunct research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Sociology, yesterday announced the 12th round of results from a longitudinal survey of attitudes among young Taiwanese toward markers of adulthood. While few of the respondents, who were aged 28 to 32 when surveyed in 2017, found marriage to be important, 95.8 percent believed that being responsible for oneself should take precedence, data showed. Economic independence came in
SHRINKING FEMALE POPULATION: Last year, 107.74 boys were born for every 100 girls in Taiwan, which is a greater gender imbalance than in Japan and South Korea The Ministry of the Interior recorded 9,601 births in January, the first time the nation has produced fewer than 10,000 newborns in a single month, while different indicators showed that Taiwan might also be facing a population with increasingly fewer births, women and marriages. It comes after the ministry reported a record low 165,249 births last year, which was lower than the 173,156 deaths recorded last year. The nation experienced negative population growth for the first time last year, ministry data found. The number of births in January also dropped from a year earlier, when there were 12,510 births. In February, there were
The Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office has listed six people as suspects in a judicial investigation into a fatal train crash on Friday last week. Fifty people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the Taroko Express No. 408 train slammed into a crane truck that had slid onto the tracks near the entrance of Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The office also summoned six officials at the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Hualien Engineering Section for questioning about alleged illegal business operations and unsafe work conditions by Yi Hsiang Industry Co and Tung Hsin Construction Co, the two
KEEPING FOCUSED: Premier Su Tseng-chang was said to have commended Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung, but said the tragedy takes priority Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) has submitted a verbal resignation in the wake of the Taroko Express No. 408 train crash two days ago, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) said yesterday. In a call, Lin told Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) that he wished to step down, to take responsibility for the deadliest accident involving a Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) train in 40 years. As of press time last night, the Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office had revised the death toll from 51, which had been reported on the previous day, to 50, after DNA testing showed that what had