U.N. experts call on Spain to halt extraditions to China

 U.N. experts call on Spain to halt extraditions to China

MADRID (Reuters) - Human rights experts from the United Nations called on Spain on Friday to halt extraditions of Chinese and Taiwanese nationals to China because of concerns they would be exposed to the risk of torture, ill treatment or the death penalty.

They cited the Dec. 2016 arrest of 269 suspects, including 219 Taiwanese, over their alleged involvement in telecom scams to defraud Chinese citizens in a police swoop dubbed Operation Wall.

Two Taiwanese individuals were reported to have been extradited to China on Thursday and the U.N. experts said they feared others would also be deported soon.

"We are dismayed by the decision by the Spanish courts to extradite these individuals. The ruling clearly contravenes Spain's international commitment to refrain from expelling, returning or extraditing people to any state where there are well-founded reasons to believe that they might be in danger of being subjected to torture," the experts said.

The experts also said some of those detained may be victims of human trafficking after they stated they had been brought to Spain under the promise they would work as tourist guides.

The Justice Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Paul Day; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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Updated Date: May 19, 2018 00:07:04 IST