Controversy As Netherlands Asks China To Shut Down Police Stations
Lishui police stations operated by China in the Netherlands have been issued an order of closure.
The Dutch government was unhappy with the activities of the Chinese police stations and asked the country’s force to close the stations immediately.
According to the Netherlands, reports at its disposal prove that the police stations were been used to harass people.
Naija News learnt that the police posts in Amsterdam and Rotterdam purported to offer diplomatic assistance, but they had not been declared to the Netherlands government.
A Spanish-based Non-Governmental Organization, Safeguard Defenders was said to have in September carried out an investigation which revealed that China had set up 54 overseas police centres around the world, including the two in the Netherlands.
The report also claimed there were three more stations established in Britain and three in Canada.
“Because no permission was sought from the Netherlands” for the stations, “the ministry informed the (Chinese) ambassador that the stations must close immediately,” Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said on Twitter.
He said the ministry has since asked the country’s ambassador for clarification on the stations and was investigating the posts’ activities.
The two “police stations” set up in 2018 were used to silence China’s political opponents, broadcaster RTL and investigative website Follow the Money said, quoting a Chinese dissident living in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands faulted the overseer police stations, accusing the Chinese force of carrying out policing operations on foreign soil and pressuring its nationals to return home to face criminal charges.
China’s foreign ministry, however, has described the report as untrue. It noted that the service stations were meant to help overseas citizens do things such as renew driving licences.
Naija News learnt that the first Chinese police post was launched in June 2018 in Amsterdam by the Lishui region police and is headed by two men who, according to reports, started their careers in the Chinese police force before moving to the Netherlands.
Reports further established that the police from the Chinese city of Fuzhou opened a second office earlier this year in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, run by a former soldier.
The Dutch foreign ministry said there were “regular signals” from the Dutch Chinese community about receiving “intimidation and threats” and that it was setting up a hotline.
Meanwhile, Canadian federal police had said last week that they were investigating reports of three stations in the Toronto area.