China maintains illegal police stations to harass dissidents in the Netherlands

China has had branches or “illegal police stations” in the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam since at least 2018, which it also uses to monitor and exert pressure on Chinese dissidents residing in the Netherlands, according to an investigation. report published this Tuesday (25).

Dutch news program RTL Nieuws and investigative journalist collective Follow the Money published an investigation that claims that the Chinese police have opened at least two offices in the Netherlands, without informing the country’s government, and “there are strong indications that the agencies are used to pressure Chinese dissidents.”

These media, which publish photos These offices explain that they are called “overseas police stations” and Chinese citizens can even renew their Chinese driver’s licenses and report changes in their marital status, but the investigation shows that the Dutch government has not received any notification from China about these office s.

Furthermore, these tasks are reserved for embassies or consulates, regulated by the Vienna Convention, adopted by both China and the Netherlands.

Wang Jingyu, a The young Chinese dissident, warned that these “police stations” are also trying to contact Chinese citizens who are critical of Beijing, and guarantees that he himself has been harassed by Chinese police in Rotterdam for three years, accused of “insulting war heroes” for criticizing the regime on social networks.

“He asked me to come back to China to solve my problems. He also told me to think about my parents,” Wang said of an incoming call from the Rotterdam office. In addition, the young man reported that he received death threats and was harassed on the street.

The police of the Chinese region of Lishui would have opened in June of 2018 the first Chinese office in Amsterdam, awarded as one of the top ten in an internal election last year, and run by two men who have made careers in the Chinese police, according to a panel published by RTL showing the chief of the police station and the award received from Beijing.

Furthermore, earlier this year, Fuzhou City Police opened another branch, located in a discreet house in Rotterdam, with no sign on the facade, according to the investigation.

China would have at least 46 “overseas police stations” in several cities around the world, from Dublin and Barcelona to New York and Ontario, according to this investigation. An official promotional video explains how these agencies are helping to “suppress local and illegal criminal activities in Fuzhou involving overseas Chinese.”

RTL and Follow the Money launched this investigation after receiving tips from the organization Spanish human rights group Safeguard Defenders and analyzed Chinese government websites, public messages on Chinese social media, and articles on Chinese news pages and publications targeting Chinese in the Netherlands.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry The Dutchwoman assured that these agencies are illegal and warned that the Dutch authorities will investigate “what exactly they are doing here and appropriate measures will be taken”, while also admitting to having received information from the Chinese community in the Netherlands about threats to some critics. of the Chinese government.

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