A Chinese woman, Yang Luo Yini (楊羅旖旎), was deported by immigration authorities yesterday, while prosecutors in Taoyuan charged four of her Chinese associates with illegal entry after they landed on the shore of northern Taiwan in a motorboat earlier this month.
Wang Rui (王睿), Su Qianlong (蘇黔龍), Lu Ning (陸寧) and Shi Jian (石堅) were charged with violating the Immigration Act (入出國及移民法) and acting as accomplices to criminal activities.
Su, Lu and Shi took a motorboat from China’s Fujian Province across the Taiwan Strait, and landed on a rocky beach in Taoyuan’s Dayuan District (大園) on Sept. 10, allegedly to pick up Wang and his girlfriend, Yang Luo, who had overstayed their visas and were residing at an apartment in Taipei.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
However, questions remained about their motives, with the authorities saying the five Chinese nationals were suspected of spying, while Taiwanese human rights groups said they are Chinese dissidents fleeing persecution and urged the government not to deport them, and instead grant them political asylum.
Media reports said the five Chinese nationals had planned to sail on to Guam and the Mariana Islands to seek political asylum.
The National Immigration Agency (NIA) said Wang came to Taiwan on a tourist visa in August last year, but he left his tour group and had been staying around the Greater Taipei area illegally since that time.
Photo courtesy of the Coast Guard Administration
Yang Luo entered Taiwan in June this year after applying for an independent tourist visa, which is limited to 15 days.
Immigration officials said that she met up with Wang, and both have broken visa regulations.
Taiwanese right activists have urged the NIA to conduct a full investigation to ascertain if the five were dissidents. They urged the government not to deport them to China, where they might face severe punishment, including torture and lengthy jail terms.
After learning of Yang Luo’s deportation yesterday morning, several legislators, along with the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights, called a press conference denouncing the NIA’s decision.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) criticized the fast-tracking of the procedure and the authorities’ handling of the case.
“Why were the government and the NIA so quick to act on Yang Luo’s deportation? Are they bowing to pressure and demands from the Chinese government?” they asked, adding that the deportation was a violation of international human rights conventions.
“If these five people were refugees or dissidents, then sending them back to China means certain death for them,” Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lai Chen-chang (賴振昌) said.
The NIA should take time to investigate their cases judiciously and verify their situation, before making a decision on their case, they said.
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