A 49-YEAR-OLD Chinese man has been charged by Sweden for allegedly spying on Tibetan refugees in the country, in what exiles say is the first case of its kind in the world.
Sweden’s state prosecutor on Wednesday announced that it had charged a man suspected of spying on Tibetan refugees’ families, housing and activities for Beijing between 2015 and 2017.
President of the Tibetan Community in Sweden Jamyang Choedon told Radio Sweden on Thursday that they had known about the case for over a year and that it “meant a lot” that Swedish authorities were seeking a prosecution.
“This is a very serious crime,” state prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said in a statement, as quoted by Reuters. There are roughly 140 members of the Tibetan community living in Sweden. According to CCN, China’s Ministry of Foreign said it was “not aware of the situation”.
Tibet has been part of the People’s Republic of China since 1951 during what China calls a “peaceful liberation”, with many Tibetan dissident groups living abroad in exile. Rights groups say that pro-independence activists in Tibet are regularly arrested and tortured.
Choedon said that the community had been “very, very scared” by the presence of an supposed Chinese spy and that the fact there was one present to monitor the activities of 140 people was “almost comical”.