The Ireland Department of Foreign Affairs Wednesday ordered a Chinese overseas “police station” in Dublin to cease operations, according to Asia-based human rights group Safeguard Defenders. The order comes after Safeguard investigated whether the Fuzhou Police Overseas Service Station complies with international laws.
Safeguard’s report alleges that the stations “persuade” Chinese nationals abroad to return to China where they face criminal charges. Chinese authorities abroad allegedly persuaded 230,000 nationals to return to China between April 2021 to July 2022. The stations’ policing mechanisms exclude international police and judicial cooperation mechanisms and use illegal persuasion to return methods which may infringe on the right to a fair trial and presumption of innocence. The report declares, “[w]hether the targets are dissidents, corrupt officials or low-level criminals, the problem remains the same: The use of irregular methods – often combining carrots with sticks – against the targeted individual or their family members in China undermines any due process and the most basic rights of suspects.”
Importantly, the report also explains that overseas police stations violate international rule of law and may violate the territorial integrity of the third country. Safeguard lists alleged stations in Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia. Stations in Rotterdam are currently under investigation by Dutch officials.