TAIPEI: Taiwan has strongly protested the forcible deportation of its citizens to China by the Kenyan police, describing the action as deeply regretful and a serious violation of human rights and usual international practice.
Chinese authorities must deal with the five Taiwanese in accordance with the Cross-strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement, said Huang Chung-yen, spokesman for the Office of the President. “We urge the return of these individuals to Taiwan as soon as possible so as to safeguard their safety and judicial rights,” the official said.
The Taiwanese were forcibly deported from Kenya to China after their acquittal on telecoms fraud charges by a Kenyan district court.
In April, the 45 Taiwanese were also forcibly deported from Kenya to China. Representatives from Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and National Police Agency went to Beijing to visit the group and conducted negotiations with their Chinese counterparts, reaching an understanding on jointly investigating the Taiwanese suspected of telecoms fraud and establishing procedures for handling any future cross-border criminal cases.
Echoing Huang’s remarks, based on the above-mentioned understanding, the MOJ said in a statement on Monday that Chinese authorities should make immediate arrangements for family members to visit the Taiwanese while ensuring their human rights and procedural justice, especially the right to select defense attorneys. “In addition, investigation of the case must be conducted in a fair, just and legal fashion,” the official said.
In a statement released the same day, the MAC said Chinese authorities should provide information on the conditions under which the Taiwanese are being detained in accordance with the Cross-strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement, adding that the government will continue talks on having the Taiwanese returned to Taiwan for investigation.
“On the basis of accumulated results of previous cross-strait negotiation and cooperation in similar cases, benign communication and dialogue should continue so as to jointly find a suitable way to effectively crack down on cross-border telecoms fraud and strengthen the protection and well-being of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait,” the MAC said.