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Tibet groups seek meeting with Dutch gov’t over Chinese intimidation of their members

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(TibetanReview.net, Nov02’22) – Citing phone call intimidations of their members by people claiming to be from or speaking on behalf of the Chinese government, three Tibet groups in the Netherlands have sought a meeting with Prime Minister Mark Rutte to complain about illegal Chinese police stations operating in the country, said Washington-based Tibet advocacy group International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) Nov 1.

Especially in recent months, Dutch citizens of Tibetan descent as well as other Tibetans residing in the country have been receiving phone calls from unknown individuals. Some of these callers identified themselves as representatives of the Chinese embassy, and some concealed their affiliations, the groups have said in their joint letter to the Prime Minister.

One of the signatories, the Tibetan Community in the Netherlands, headed by Dawa Tsering Tsalung, has said at least 10 Tibetans had received such calls from such Chinese individuals. One such call was documented in detail, including with an audio recording and a Dutch phone number. This information will be shared with the police, the group has said.

ICT said quite a few of the Tibetans had been affected by the calls.

Wangpo Tethong, the Executive Director of the International Campaign for Tibet Europe, has said, “We are aware that these violations of privacy, which are just below or slightly above the border of illegality, are difficult for the Dutch authorities to handle and can’t be pursued in an adequate manner. Consequently, this also has the potential of trivialization of these offenses and stigmatization of the victims if a clear and loud stand is not taken.”

The third co-signatory is the Tibet Support Group Netherlands headed by Tsering Jampa.

The letter was cited as saying transnational repression had several negative consequences and asked Amsterdam to raise the matter of coordinating an EU position to counter its effects.

The letter was stated to have proposed that the Prime Minister invite a group of Tibetans, Uyghurs and other groups who had been oppressed by Chinese authorities because of their belief in human rights and democracy and had therefore publicly expressed concern about their situation.

Earlier, human rights group Safeguard Defenders said in a report Sep 2022 that Chinese authorities had 54 “police” stations overseas being run as Overseas Service Stations.

Ireland last month became the first country to order the closing down of such a police station.

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.

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