Representatives from human rights organizations yesterday urged the Legislative Yuan to pass a draft bill on refugees as soon as possible.
At a news conference held to urge the swift passage of the bill, the groups played video footage of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) saying “freedom and human rights are values that Taiwanese cherish the most. Taiwan should not keep itself away from other nations when facing the issue of refugees,” during a charity event held for refugees in Taipei in June last year.
The draft bill — which would allow foreign or stateless victims of political or religious repression, war or natural disaster, who have been forced to leave their homelands to apply for asylum to gain the right to reside in Taiwan if their application is approved by a review committee — passed an initial review by a Legislative Yuan committee in July last year.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
However, representatives from the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights and several other groups said that the human rights issue is not just an opportunity to gain publicity and Tsai should follow through with legislation.
As Taiwan claims to be a nation founded on human rights and has adopted content from international human rights conventions into law, the government should at least try to help people who seek asylum rather than just immediately repatriate them, Taiwan Association for Human Rights secretary-general Chiu E-ling (邱伊翎) said.
Although Taiwan has not passed a refugee law, the nation does not practice non-refoulement either, so the government should pass the draft legislation as soon as possible, Covenants Watch executive member Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) said.
“This is not just about passing a law; it also about creating a beacon in Asia,” Taiwan Association for China Human Rights chairman Yang Hsien-hung (楊憲宏) said.
There are hardly any safe national borders around China, and kidnapping is often heard of, so if Taiwan passes the legislation, it would become a relatively safe place for such refugees to stay, he said.
A domestically developed “suicide drone,” also known as a loitering munition, would be tested and evaluated in July, and could enter mass production next year, Taiwan’s weapons developer said on Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named drone was among nine drone models unveiled by the National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) on Tuesday. The drone has been dubbed the “Taiwanese switchblade” by Chinese-language media, due to its similarity to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which has been used by Ukraine in counterattacks during Russia’s invasion. It has a range of more than 10km, a flight time of more than 15 minutes, and an electro-optical
OFFLINE: People who do not wish to register can get the money from select ATMs using their bank card, ID number and National Health Insurance card number Online registration for NT$6,000 (US$196.32) cash payments drawn from last year’s tax surplus is to open today for eligible people whose national ID or permanent residency number ends in either a zero or a one, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. Officials from the ministry revealed which days Taiwanese and eligible foreigners would be able to register for the cash payments at a joint news conference with the Ministry of Digital Affairs. Online registration is to open tomorrow for those whose number ends in a two or three; on Friday for those that end in a four or five: on Saturday
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) officials are investigating why a Starlux Airlines flight to Penang, Malaysia, returned to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport nearly two hours after takeoff yesterday morning. The airline said in a statement that Flight JX721 to Penang took off from Taoyuan airport at 9:20am. “After the dashboard showed a signal of an abnormality in the hydraulic system, the captain followed standard operating procedures and returned the flight to Taoyuan airport for safety precautions,” the airline said, adding that the flight landed safely at the airport at 11:04am. The airline arranged for the passengers to have lunch after the flight landed and
WORKING UP AN APPETITE: Sales at the Rueifong Night Market surged 20 to 30 percent, while seats at Liouhe Night Market were packed until 1am, market officials said South Korean pop band Blackpink’s concerts over the weekend in Kaohsiung helped draw large crowds to local night markets, the Kaohsiung City Government said yesterday. The two concerts on Saturday and Sunday at Kaohsiung National Stadium drew more than 90,000 people. The city government offered NT$50 vouchers to spend locally to concertgoers who showed their ticket stubs. Liouhe Night Market (六合夜市) management committee head Chuang Chi-chang (莊其章) said that crowds over the weekend surged at about 10pm and the market remained packed until 1:30am. “Almost all the seats were filled,” Chuang said. Night market stall owners had stocked up in expectation of an increased number