Taiwan protests deportation of ROC nationals

The government voiced April 13 a strong protest over the detention and forcible deportation of Republic of China (Taiwan) nationals to mainland China by the Kenyan police, describing the actions as serious human rights violation that have hurt the feelings of the people of Taiwan and severely affected cross-strait relations.

The incident occurred following the acquittal of 23 ROC nationals by a Kenyan district court on telecoms fraud charges. The group, ordered to leave the West African country in 21 days, was detained for 24 hours after attempting to collect their passports at Kilimani police station near the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

Eight of the 23 were deported April 8 to mainland China. The remaining 15, along with 22 other ROC nationals involved in a separate telecoms fraud case, were deported after police used tear gas to force them out of the station. “These measures are against the will of the 45 ROC nationals and we demand a reasonable explanation from the Kenyan government,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

President Ma Ying-jeou called on Beijing to return the ROC nationals to Taiwan and make sure forcible deportations to mainland China never take place again. This position is shared by President-elect Tsai Ing-wen, who said Taiwan’s jurisdiction should be respected.

Hsia Li-yan, minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, urged Beijing to adhere to the Cross-strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement. “Based on the pattern of past cooperation between Taiwan and mainland China, Beijing should return our citizens as soon as possible,” Hsia said, adding that a delegation comprising officials from the MAC, Ministry of Justice and other related agencies will travel to mainland China to gain a better understanding of the incident, negotiate and visit with the deportees.

The Kenyan police ignored the Kenyan High Court’s injunction barring the deportation of the ROC nationals to mainland China. This violated procedural justice and Taiwan’s jurisdiction. The nation’s rights must be fully respected at all times, and any ROC national involved in legal proceedings returned to Taiwan upon resolution of their case.

Source: Taiwan Today