Taiwan Denies Entry to Anti-Nuke Visitor Ahead of Protest

A German man who marched in an anti-nuclear protest two years ago [zh] in Taiwan was detained at Taiwan's international airport and denied entry [zh] into the country on March 8, 2013, a day before protesters planned to hold a large-scale anti-nuclear demonstration there.

Daniel Andres Helmdach is scheduled to be deported from Taiwan, a suspected consequence of his participation in an anti-nuclear demonstration in Kaohsiung on April 30, 2011 [zh] while he was in Taiwan working as a volunteer on conservation projects.

This is not the first time that Taiwan has zeroed in on the participation of foreigners in anti-nuclear activities in Taiwan, where the recent construction of the fourth nuclear power plant in Taiwan has been met with strong criticism because of security concerns. Two Japanese people from Fukushima were warned by the country's immigration office [zh] immediately after they gave a speech at an anti-nuclear demonstration on April 30, 2011.

Photo from International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) Taiwan which Helmdach had participated in 2011.

Photo from International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) Taiwan which Helmdach had participated in 2011.

The country's premier, Yi-Hua Chiang, has called for a referendum to be held on the construction of the Fourth nuclear power plant in August 2013.

After becoming aware of Helmdach's detention, Helmdach's friend Rui-Guang Huang put out a call for help on his Facebook page:


Our good friend arrived in Taiwan this evening for sightseeing. His entry was rejected at the Tauyuan International Airport because he joined our environmental education observation activity two years ago in Taiwan. To our surprise, he was targeted and is now prepared for deportation without any notice in advance.

Legislator Shu-Fen Lin called the head of the immigration office and requested them to explain the deportation of Daniel. The immigration office said [zh] that the National Security Council made the decision in 2010 that should a foreigner conduct anything not described in his or her visa, the person would be denied entry to Taiwan three years.

Helmdach worked as a volunteer in Taiwan for one year during 2011 through arrangements made by the International Culture Youth Exchange (ICYE). Rui-Guang Huang explained the nature of Helmdach's volunteer work at that time:


He helped the Linluo church’s communication reconstruction project after Typhoon Morakot and joined the surveillance activities of the waste on the beach and related nature conservation activities. He worked very hard in Taiwan and fulfilled his responsibility as an international volunteer. He cooperated with us and helped complete our projects. He did not conduct anything unseemly.

After the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, Daniel studied issues related to nuclear power and walked with his friends from the Community College in Tainan City during the anti-nuke demonstration [zh] in Kaohsiung on April 30, 2011. Soon after the demonstration, special agents visited the Community College in Tainan City and the Tainan branch of ICYE, but they did not mention anything about Daniel's involvement in unlawful activities.


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