MOFA offers help to Taiwanese detained in Christmas Island

2018/04/10 14:35:19 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
MOFA offers help to Taiwanese detained in Christmas Island

Taipei, April 10 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday it has done its best to help a Taiwanese citizen currently detained on Christmas Island amid his family's complaint that the ministry should have done more to help their son.

According to the family of 31-year-old Taiwanese citizen Wu Tse-chun (吳澤濬), Wu was arrested in late 2017 by Australian police in Brisbane for his alleged involvement in an intimidation case.

He was originally detained at a local police station and later at a detention center for a month but was later transferred to an immigration detention center in Brisbane after Australian immigration revoked his student visa, Wu's family said at a press event in Taipei.

Wu was then transferred to the detention center on Christmas Island, an offshore Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, in March. But the Australian side did not inform Taiwan's government or his family back in Taiwan of the move, according to his family.

Wu's brother said the family had asked for help from the MOFA's representative office in Brisbane, but the office said it could not interfere with an ongoing legal case of a foreign government.

Taiwan Association for Human Rights Secretary-General Chiu E-ling (邱伊翎), who accompanied Wu's family at the press event, said they were not asking the ministry to interfere in another country's legal system but to accompany Wu's family to visit him on Christmas Island.

Chiu called on Australian authorities to set a court date for Wu's case as soon as possible. She also urged Australia to amend its current rule that sets no time limit on how long a person may be held in immigration detention in the country.

Asked to comment, MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said representatives of MOFA's Brisbane office visited Wu at the Brisbane detention center to make sure his legal rights and personal safety were being safeguarded.

After Wu was transferred to Christmas Island, Taiwanese diplomats in Brisbane also called the center to make sure Wu was not being mistreated, Lee said.

The Brisbane office has also filed an application to the center to visit Wu, but the request has not been granted, Lee said.

Australian Office Taipei had yet to respond to questions about the case from CNA as of early Tuesday afternoon.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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