TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan on Feb. 17 expressed grave concerns after Spain deported another two Taiwanese citizens suspected of involvement in telecoms fraud to China last Friday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, 外交部).
The two men were part of a large group of 219 Taiwanese nationals arrested in the European country for alleged involvement in fraud in late 2016, MOFA said.
Three of the suspects were previously sent to China for trial in 2018. MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said Taiwan had repeatedly called on Madrid to honor the nationality principle by deporting them back to Taiwan.
Based on Spain’s deportation treaty with China, a Spanish court had previously agreed to deport these Taiwanese nationals to the other side of the Taiwan Strait, he noted.
Taiwan had sought political asylum and lodged a constitutional litigation to the Spanish interior ministry and its constitutional court to ensure that they stay in the country instead of being sent to China but to no avail, he noted.
Taiwan’s authorities have urged Spanish counterparts to cooperate on similar cases in the future based on the spirit of humanity and the principle of human rights, he added.
The latest deportation of Taiwanese to China came less than a week after the Philippines sent seven Taiwanese fraud suspects to China last Tuesday despite Taiwan’s protest.
By Joseph Yeh