Fresh asylum bid made by former Taiwan spy
8:10am Wednesday 8th January 2014 in News
A FRESH claim for asylum and a bail application will be made next week for a Taiwanese asylum seeker who lived in Newport for 18 months.
Emily Yeh, aged 33, first applied for asylum in Wales in summer 2012, shortly after she absconded from her position as a spy in the Taiwanese military intelligence service.
A bail application for Ms Yeh that was due to be heard at an immigration and asylum tribunal in Birmingham was withdrawn yesterday so that the new asylum and bail applications can be submitted next week.
A solicitor acting for Ms Yeh, Lynne Isaac, said: “We’ve not lost, we can still go ahead with the fresh claim.”
Her fresh asylum claim should be completed by the end of this week and it might be heard by officials as early as next Tuesday.
Should these asylum and bail applications fail, documents seen by Ms Yeh’s friends suggest she will be removed from the country on February 15.
Ms Yeh, who attended Coleg Gwent and worked at Oxfam and the Welsh Refugee Council during her stay in Newport, has been detained at the Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire since December 16 and has been held by United Kingdom authorities since December 10.
Taiwanese authorities have said they intend to prosecute Ms Yeh and that she can expect a sentence of up to five years in prison.
Friends said Ms Yeh might have faced the death penalty if returned to Taiwan but the country’s government has denied those claims.
Her friend Helen Aesa, who has been leading a campaign to keep Ms Yeh in the UK, travelled to Birmingham to be at the tribunal.
She said: “Emily is very, very down.
“I don’t know whether she’s just hit rock bottom.”
On Monday morning Ms Yeh said she was “a bit concerned” about a meeting she was going to have with Taiwanese officials and any possible court hearing if she is returned to Taiwan.
Since then she has not been contactable her mobile phone.
She was treated at hospital when she was first detained and was later diagnosed with a kidney stone, which prevented her from being removed from the UK on the December 23.
A Taiwanese embassy spokesman said last week: “We have a very close communication with the UK government and the Home Office. [Ms Yeh’s case] is a disciplinary issue.
If you went ahead without permission from your government, your boss won’t pay you any more.”
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