- 28 Oct 22
The Chinese embassy has denied any wrong-doing in Dublin.
According to the Press Association, what has been described as a Chinese "police station" in Dublin city centre has been ordered to close.
Government officials have confirmed the news, with a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs stating that no request had been made in advance to open the station in Capel Street.
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.
“The department noted that actions of all foreign states on Irish territory must be in compliance with international law and domestic law requirements," a statement from the Government body said. "On this basis, the department informed the Embassy that the office on Capel Street should close and cease operations. The Chinese Embassy has now stated that the activities of the office have ceased.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs will continue to liaise with the Embassy to facilitate the provision of all relevant consular and citizen services to Chinese citizens in Ireland.”
The Fuzhou Police Service Overseas Station (from the Fujian province) opened earlier this year in an office building on the now-pedestrianised Capel Street.
The Chinese authorities said the station offered a service to Chinese citizens in Ireland, including the renewal of driving licences.
However, the human rights group Safeguard Defenders in a report in September said the stations persuaded 230,000 emigrants to return to China, sometimes to have faced criminal charges.
The report also said Chinese operations worldwide “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".
China has also been accused of creating illegal police stations in the Netherlands. Dutch media found evidence that the so-called overseas service stations, which promise to provide diplomatic services, are being used to try to silence Chinese dissidents in Europe.
A spokeswoman for the Dutch Foreign Ministry said the existence of the unofficial police outposts was illegal. The Chinese foreign ministry has rejected the Dutch allegations.
This week, the Scottish Government and Police Scotland said they were taking reports of a secret Chinese outpost in Glasgow “extremely seriously”.
Speaking during First Minister’s Questions today, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I agree these reports are deeply concerning and I want to be very clear that we take them very seriously,” she said.
“Any foreign country operating in Scotland must abide by Scottish law. The Scottish Government fully supports an individual’s rights to freedom of expression and that is also an extremely important principle.
“These matters require to be fully and properly investigated and it would not be appropriate for me to go into too much detail, but I do know – and I know this as a result of a conversation I had just yesterday with the chief constable – police are aware of these reports.”
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