The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday lauded the Czech government for providing “subsidiary protection” to eight Taiwanese fraud suspects detained in Prague, instead of deporting them to China as requested by Beijing.
Subsidiary protection is an international protection given to a non-EU national or a stateless person who does not qualify as a refugee and might face the risk of suffering serious harm if returned to their country of origin, according to the EU’s Web site.
“We commend and appreciate the position of the Czech government, which showed moral courage and pragmatism in protecting the human rights of Taiwanese, and refusing China’s [extradition] request,” ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said.
It is the ministry’s obligation to protect the basic human and legal rights of Taiwanese when they face problems abroad, and the government would do all it can to help the suspects and have them returned home for legal proceedings, he said.
The suspects were in January last year arrested in Prague on an Interpol red notice. Beijing has accused them of posing as Chinese police officers and prosecutors to defraud Chinese nationals in their home country by telephone.
A Czech court last fall agreed to extradite them to China on Beijing’s pledge that they would face a fair trial and not be given the death penalty.
However, Czech Minister of the Interior Jan Hamacek on Monday said on Twitter that the suspects would be given subsidiary protection.
The Czech government feared for the safety of the suspects out of concern that they could face inhumane treatment or capital punishment if they were deported to China, the Czech News Agency reported.
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