(TibetanReview.net, Oct29’22) – Amid reports that Chinese authorities had set up a total of 54 clandestine police stations overseas, many in Europe, Ireland has become the first to ask Beijing to close down one found in Dublin. The police stations are said to police activities of overseas Chinese, including by coercing many to return home where they face criminal charges.
Earlier, human rights group Safeguard Defenders said in a report in Sep 2022 that Chinese authorities had 54 “police” stations overseas being run as Overseas Stations. The Chinese authorities claim the stations offer services to Chinese citizens in the host countries including the renewal of driving licenses.
However, the Safeguard Defenders report said these so-called overseas stations “eschew official police and judicial cooperation and violate the international rule of law, and may violate the territorial integrity of third countries involved in setting up a parallel policing mechanism using illegal methods”.
The report said the stations had “persuaded” 230,000 emigrants to return to China, and that some have faced criminal charges.
On Oct 26, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said no Chinese authority had sought its permission to set up the “police station”.
The department said it had raised the matter with the Chinese authorities and had asked them “to close and cease operations” at the “police” station on Capel Street, reported the bbc.com Oct 27.
The report cited the Chinese government as saying it had complied with that request.
Meanwhile the Chinese government has also been accused of having established at least two undeclared “police stations” in the Netherlands.
The report noted that the Dutch media had found evidence that the so-called overseas service stations, which promise to provide diplomatic services, were being used to try to silence Chinese dissidents in Europe.
While a spokeswoman for the Dutch Foreign Ministry has said the existence of the unofficial police outposts was illegal, the Chinese foreign ministry has rejected the Dutch allegations.