Taiwanese in Norway lose name change lawsuit

Berlin,  A group of Taiwanese residing in Norway lost a lawsuit filed last year against the Norwegian government, accusing it of improperly changing their designated nationality from Taiwan to China in their residency permits.

A decision handed down by a district court in Oslo on April 28 and obtained by CNA said the Norwegian government abides by the one China policy and so does not diplomatically recognize Taiwan.

The ruling added that a move by the authorities to change the nationality of Taiwanese residing in the country from Taiwan to China was in line with the government’s one China policy so the lawsuit brought by these Taiwanese plaintiffs was without merit.

The lawsuit was filed by three Taiwan nationals residing in Norway on Aug. 29, 2019, naming the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) and the Oslo Police District as defendants.

According to one of the three Taiwanese plaintiffs, who identified himself as Joseph, starting from 2010 the Norwegian authorities changed the nationality on their residency permits to China, prompting him to launch a movement to urge the Norwegian government to change the policy.

Despite repeated protests against the name change, Joseph said, the Norwegian government failed to respond, which made many Taiwanese residents and students in the country angry, so they decided to file the lawsuit.

Joseph said although the ruling was widely expected, the plaintiffs have decided to appeal.

As the judge did not give the plaintiffs the chance to express themselves in court, their right to a fair trial was violated, the lawyer added.

The other two plaintiffs are a Taiwan national married to a Norwegian citizen and a Taiwanese post-doctoral candidate in the Northern European country.

Joseph has said if they lose the lawsuit, they will file an appeal all the way to the European Court of Human Rights to ensure the world hears the voice of the Taiwanese people.

Joseph initiated an online fundraising campaign in the second half of last year to raise funds for the legal action. To date, they have raised about NT$3.5 million (US$116,667), he said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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