AIT’s Role

AIT’s responsibility is to ensure that U.S. citizens who are arrested are treated according to international standards and accorded the same rights as people from Taiwan.

AIT can intercede with local authorities if there are allegations of mistreatment or abuse of U.S. citizens in custody. AIT can also ask the prison authority to assist incarcerated U.S. citizens with medical care or medication.

Upon notification of the arrest of a U.S. citizen, an AIT officer will attempt to visit within 48 hours. During the visit, the officer will provide a list of English-speaking attorneys.

The Privacy Act of 1974 places restrictions on the release of information to outside parties. Except in a few limited exceptions, AIT will not provide information about a U.S. citizen unless the U.S. citizen in question has given AIT written authorization. If authorized, an officer will notify family, friends, or others of the U.S. citizen’s arrest.

AIT will monitor the case as it progresses through the Taiwan legal system and will remain in contact with the U.S. citizen and/or authorized family members. An AIT officer will visit detained U.S. citizens on a semester basis and will attend the trial as an observer in some cases.

Visit “Arrest or Detention of an U.S. Citizen Abroad” for general information about State Department assistance to U.S. citizens arrested abroad.