South Asia and Beyond

How China Forces ‘Fugitives’ Abroad To Return

NEW DELHI: An investigation launched by Safeguard Defenders, a Madrid-headquartered NGO focusing on human rights, has revealed the coercive methods used by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to get hold of ‘fugitives’ abroad. “We want governments to investigate and expose these crimes. Silence against the CCP’s crimes isn’t working,” Laura Harth, Campaign Director of ‘Safeguard Defenders’ told StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale on ‘The Gist’.

Given below is the transcript of a chunk from the interview:

This is part of the so-called anti-corruption campaign that was set up by Xi Jinping. Anti-corruption is not only about bribes; it’s not only about people taking money; it’s more about safeguarding, making sure that the monopoly on power of the Chinese Communist Party is not attacked and, obviously, Xi Jinping’s personal grip on power. Again, this is political terror which is global. So one of the aims of these programmes is not only returning people but making sure that people abroad do not feel safe, that they may stop their activism. So people will not naturally report this kind of violations, this kind of harassment, this kind of threats. It’s very hard to find people that are willing to talk about it because there’s a price to be paid; if not for them, for their family members back home. So naturally, that’s difficult. But what we want governments to do is obviously investigate and expose these crimes. Making sure that people within their territory, the Chinese diaspora communities feel safe to report, that there are adequate and dedicated reporting mechanisms. Governments may investigate but also protect these people so that they have free speech, they have freedom of movement. Those rights that need to be guaranteed in other countries are actually respected. They need to expose this. Silence is not helping. A lot of countries when it comes to Chinese crimes, the CCP’s crimes, they want to keep it hush-hush because they feel there might be some retaliation. But that’s not working because we see all these operations are only expanding; we see China using economic coercion. We see being hush-hush about things is not helping anyone. It’s just making the global reign of terror bigger.

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