Taipei, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Friday that it will offer necessary assistance to over 200 Taiwanese fraud suspects currently detained in Spain after they have sought political asylum and are being allowed to stay in that country for the time being.
"The government respects all forms of self-relief measures and all relevant agencies will provide all possible assistance within their reach," the MAC said in a statement upon learning that these Taiwanese suspects can temporarily stay in Spain, rather than being repatriated to China, after the alleged fraud ring's organizers reportedly hired local lawyers and human rights groups to help.
Out of fears that the Taiwanese suspects could face unjust trials in China, Spanish human rights activists have been asked to help the suspects seek political asylum and lodge a constitutional litigation to ensure that they stay in the country instead of being sent to China.
These Taiwanese suspects were part of a 269-member fraud ring, that included 219 Taiwanese, which was smashed by Spanish law enforcement at the end of 2016. Two of the Taiwanese suspects have already been deported to China in May by Spain on a court decision.
Huang Yi-be (???), chief executive officer at Taipei-based Covenants Watch, an independent network that aims to ensure that the government fulfill its obligations under the international human rights instruments, told CNA that this is the first such case that Taiwanese fraud suspects caught overseas can avoid being deported to China via seeking political asylum and constitutional litigation in a foreign country.
According to Huang, Spanish lawyers and activists agreed to help the suspects out of concern that they might face unfair trials in China once they are sent there.
Although the Spanish authorities have temporarily halted extradition proceedings to deport them to China, Huang noted that so far neither a Spanish court or an administrative agency has accepted the detainees' application for political asylum or constitutional litigation.
Raymond Sung (???), an international law expert, said concerns over human rights in China will be helpful in preventing these Taiwanese suspects from being deported to China.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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