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Denmark to pinpoint man behind Tibet protest suppression order during 2012 Hu Jintao visit

A number of Danes used a Chinese state visit in 2012 to express support for Tibet. (Photo courtesy: thelocal.dk)
A number of Danes used a Chinese state visit in 2012 to express support for Tibet. (Photo courtesy: thelocal.dk)

(TibetanReview.net, Oct04, 2015) – It has now been confirmed that an illegal order was issued to Danish police officers to ensure that Chinese President Hu Jintao did not “lose face” by seeing or hearing Tibet protesters during his state visit to the country in Jun 2012, reported thelocal.dk Oct 2. Given this new information, the country’s justice minister has ordered a full investigation of police behaviour at that time, including on the question who had issued that order.

The three-year-old incident, which is being referred to in the Danish press as “the Tibet case”, came back into the spotlight after the Easter High Court in the Danish Capital Copenhagen ruled the week before that a demonstrator had been unlawfully detained and forced to put down his Tibetan flag by Copenhagen Police during Hu’s visit. Audio files and witness testimonies were presented to the court which contradicted the official police version of events. These led Police Commissioner Thorkild Fogde to admit on Sep 29 that there were now “doubts” about the police response.

On Oct 2, the case took a new turn with the discovery of operation commands given to officers before Hu’s state visit. In those orders, the Danish Security and Intelligence Agency (PET) was reported to have stressed the importance of keeping demonstrators out of President Hu’s path.

“It is PET’s understanding that the Chinese aren’t worried about the president’s security during his time in Denmark but that it is very essential to them that ‘they don’t lose face’ via a confrontation with protestors or something similar,” the police order, which was obtained and publicly released by the Justice Ministry on Oct 2, was quoted as reading.

The order was reported to tell officers to carry out patrols along the Chinese president’s convoy route to “ensure that demonstrators cannot be seen” or “have the opportunity to be in a position that is visible” from the route.

The report cited Justice Minister Søren Pind as saying that in light of the new information, he had established a committee to get to the bottom of the case. Pind has said he wanted to know where the original orders had come from and acknowledged that it could have been from a source higher up than the Copenhagen Police.

“Parliament has for some time been given information which now appears to be incorrect. At the same time, the case raises doubts about whether the authorities have adequately protected fundamental democratic freedoms,” Pind was quoted as saying.

Commissioner Fogde while welcoming the investigation has been quoted as saying in a police press release: “It is essential for the police that we enjoy the public’s trust and with the serious questions that have arisen, it is in everyone’s interest to find a thorough explanation.”

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