​Petition launched protesting deportation of DJs from Taiwan

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A petition has been launched calling to reconsider the deportation of three DJs from Taiwan, all of whom are said to be “upstanding citizens” of the country.

In a statement posted to Instagram by French-Taiwanese DJ Nathan Alzon, he claims that three members of the Velvet Collective group are being forced to leave Taiwan with just 14 days’ notice “due to a reported event where they mixed on stage without a special performance permit”.

“Following an event we hosted in August, three of our dearest friends and members of Velvet Collective have been dealt the harsh punishment of being deported from Taiwan given a notice of 14 days, all because they pursued their passion, performing on stage,” he explained.

He added that the group did not realise the permit was needed, and that they each hold ARC visas which were believed sufficient for them to perform. “This lack of information has now led us into an unfortunate situation,” he said.

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Daniel, Chupis and YuHan have been living in Taiwan for nine years, seven years and six years respectively, according to Nathan, and have each made the effort to learn, speak, read and write in Taiwanese.

“Not only have they been instrumental to Taiwan’s electronic music scene, but also to Taiwanese society,” Nathan added. “They have done more than any local could ask of them in integrating themselves into Taiwanese society.”

Explaining that all three DJs “immersed themselves” in Taiwanese culture, he added: “They have become such an important part of our community and our lives, and should have every right to call Taiwan home just as much as us locals do.”

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Nathan has now created a petition alongside collective member Matt Maloney “seeking justice” for all three DJs, and calling on relevant authorities in Taipei, Taiwan, to “reconsider their decision based on these circumstances”.

The petition also urges authorities to “provide clear guidelines about work permits so other artists do not face similar situations in future”. It reads: “We believe that artists should be encouraged and supported, not punished because they were uninformed about specific legal requirements.”

“Taiwan’s music industry is thriving and DJs play a crucial role in it. According to the Association for Electronic Music (AFEM), electronic music events contribute significantly to Taiwan’s economy annually.”

Find Velvet Collective’s petition here.

Mixmag has reached out to Nathan Alzon and Matt Malonay for comment.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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