I sent an email to the address at the bottom. I have not gotten any reply. Does anyone have any information?
CATHOLIC HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES THREATENED TO BE FORCIBLY DEPORTED BY TAIWANESE GOVERNMENT
Catholic Migrants Advocates in Taiwan
CATHOLIC HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES
THREATENED TO BE FORCIBLY DEPORTED BY TAIWANESE GOVERNMENT
Yesterday morning, August 24, 2001, approximately around 9:00am, a group of foreign and local Catholic priests and sisters together with both migrant and local workers gathered outside the World Trade Center in Taipei.
The purpose of the migrant workers’ gathering was to peacefully express their disagreement with the Council of Labor Affairs and the Economic Development Advisory Conference’s proposal of reducing foreign workers’ basic minimum wages. This deduction eventually will result in cheaper labor and more unemployment in Taiwan.
Fr. Bruno Ciceri, the spokesman of the gathering, read the Joint Statement of the Catholic Human Rights Advocates in Taiwan in front of the media and local union representatives. Later, unexpectedly, he and other Catholic priests and sisters were given a notification by a Foreign Affairs Department police officer from Taipei Municipal Police Bureau. The Notification reads as follows:
"YOUR BEHAVIOR HAS VIOLATED ARTICLE 27, IMMIGRATION LAW OF R.O.C.
ARTICLE 27: ALIENS WHO ARE VISITING or RESIDING IN THE STATE MAY NOT ENGAGE IN ACTIVITIES or EMPLOYMENT THAT ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE PURPOSES OF THEIR VISITS or RESIDENCE.
ARTICLE 34: ALIENS MAY BE FORCIBLY DEPORTED IF THEY HAVE VIOLATED ARTICLE 27."
In the afternoon of August 24, 2001, Police Officers were sent to investigate - from North to South - the Centers and the Offices of the foreign and local Catholic missionaries. These centers and offices are well known to Taiwan government and overseas NGOs as organizations that have offered tremendous services and assistance to both foreign and local workers.
The government’s action reminds us of the White Terrors Era of the KMT government. It is a clear violation against freedoms of speech and expression. It must not be existent in a democratic country like Taiwan! Moreover, it must not be happening under the reign of the DPP new Government!
We thought that the time of harassment and control on the part of the Government, which was personally experienced by the President Chen Shui-Bian and Minister Chen Chu, the Chairwoman of CLA, was already over.
We thought that we could have openly dissented with the Government on certain issues without being retaliated because we have with us a President who always promotes human rights.
Unfortunately, with what happened today, we feel that the shadow of the past repression is creeping back. We all know and are still fresh in our memory the story of Fr. Neil Magil. He was forcibly deported because he tried his best to offer his services to Taiwanese workers. We do not want to see the second Fr. Neil Magil’s incident be re-occurred in Taiwan.
Nevertheless, were we forcibly deported, we would feel honored and privileged to share the same destiny of Fr. Neil Magil. We shall rejoice in our hearts, for such a deportation will be a sign that we were faithful to our Christian faith and missionary vocations, and that we mean to take the side of the poor and the neglected.
The day when we are to be FORCIBLY DEPORTED might appear to be a victory for the DPP Government, however, it would also be the day of mourning for the Democracy in Taiwan.
Sr. Wei Wei, Rerum Novarum Center
Fr. Bruno Ciceri, Stella Maris International Service Center
Sr. Ascension Lim, Rerum Novarum Center
Fr. Edwin Corros, Migrant Workers Concerns’ Desk
Fr. Peter Nguyen Van Hung, Hope Workers’ Center
Fr. James Sandy, Hsin Chu Migrants