TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After Spain shocked international observers by extraditing 94 Taiwanese nationals to China just days after the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, Madrid sent two more Taiwanese suspects to Beijing on Thursday (June 13).
The actions of the Spanish government are in total disregard of United Nations (UN) protocols for extradition to states where suspects may face torture and China’s reputation of a Draconian and abusive criminal justice system.
In December 2016, Spanish police arrested a total of 237 suspects for crimes related to a telecom fraud ring. A large number of them were deported to China in December 2017. After the 94 extradited on June 6 and the two individuals extradited on Thursday, 220 Taiwanese citizens have been deported to China instead of to Taiwan by the Spanish government.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called again on the Spanish authorities to halt any further extraditions to China, citing Spain's own stated commitment to avoid deportations to countries with a high likelihood of torture or capital punishment, reports EU Reporter.
“These allegations do not appear to have been adequately investigated by the Spanish authorities, nor taken into consideration prior to the extradition decision, thus putting at risk people who are already in a situation of extreme vulnerability.”
Spokespersons for the UN High Commission also emphasized that many of those charged by the Spanish authorities may actually be victims of human trafficking, who were coerced, threatened or blackmailed into working for the crime ring.
The Taiwanese government has also protested the extradition of the Taiwanese citizens to Spain, criticizing the Spanish government’s failure to ensure the Chinese government will treat the suspects “according to universal standards of human rights” as stipulated in the European Convention on Human Rights, and as agreed upon at Taiwan-EU Human Rights Consultations.
A statement from the Taiwanese government stated the following, as reported by EU Reporter.
“We continue to be disappointed with the Spanish authorities’ tone deaf ignorance of several significant problems with the Chinese judicial system as raised by the family members of the extradited Taiwanese telecom fraud suspects, including denial of family visits, the lack of open and fair trials, torture, their being subject to extrajudicial investigative measures, and the imposition of excessive jail time.”