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A Beijing court sentenced 29 people from Taiwan who had been deported from Spain to up to 14 years in jail on Thursday for telecoms fraud, state media said, part of a series of deportations decried by Taiwan as an abuse of human rights.
In recent years, hundreds of Taiwanese suspected of telecom fraud have been deported to China, sometimes forcibly, from countries including Kenya, Cambodia and Armenia, according to the Taiwan government.
China has defended the deportations, saying they were suspected of defrauding Chinese people and so should be tried in Chinese courts.
In the latest judgement, a Beijing court ruled that the suspects had defrauded people living in China by calling them from their base in Spain and claiming to be Chinese law enforcement officials, the Beijing News said.
A total of 14 victims were defrauded out of more than 6.17 million yuan ($941,985), it said.
China claims democratically and separately governed Taiwan as its own territory, with no right to be treated as a country.
The deportations have arisen from the "one-China" policy of most countries under which they maintain formal relations only with the People's Republic of China rather than Taiwan, with governments deciding to send them to China for trial.
Taiwan has complained about a lack of due process and expressed concern about mistreatment of its people in Chinese jails.
Chinese authorities have sought to contain an explosion of telecom crime it says has led to huge financial losses, with callers often impersonating officials or authority figures and preying on the elderly, students or the unemployed.
The fraud has spread overseas, with Chinese speakers recruited in Taiwan setting up operations in East Africa or Southeast Asia.
The Dubai Court of Appeal upheld a ruling issued by the Court of First Instance sentencing 10 Asians to six months in jail to be followed by deportation and fining them Dhs155,000 on fraud charges. The defendants were convicted of collecting an equivalent amount of the fine by allegedly selling fuel through fake operations carried out via a card that belonged to a company, which one of them worked in.
The Misdemeanour Court sentenced an Arab in absentia to one month in jail and fined him Dhs541,000 on charges of embezzling the same amount from a Gulf woman after impersonating a Gulf pilot with several commercial projects.
French luxury brand Christian Dior apologised on Thursday and said it supported China’s territorial sovereignty after it was criticised for using a map of China that excluded Taiwan in a presentation.
European foreign ministers and UN agencies called for a ceasefire, with alarm rising over the worsening humanitarian crisis and potential starvation in the territory.
The weather on Sunday and Monday is expected to be partly cloudy to cloudy at times with a chance of drizzles to moderate and heavy rains at times on some areas, especially the northern, eastern and coastal ones, accompanied by a drop in temperature, especially in the west,..
The apparent show of strength comes just two days before Moscow marks the second anniversary of its military assault on Ukraine, where it has been trying to gain momentum.