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05 May 2024

Statement in response to the Chinese Embassy in France

On May 2nd, the Embassy of the People's Republic of China released a statement in reaction to news reports by France 2 and Challenges

In response to the Embassy's remarks, we would like to state the following: 

Safeguard Defenders has taken note of the report aired by France 2 and the subsequent statement published by the Embassy of the People's Republic in China in France.  

Counter to the Embassy's allegations, Safeguard Defenders does not have, nor has it ever had, any relation or involvement with Ling Huazhan. 

We are in no position to independently verify the veracity of reported events. From what we understand, French authorities are investigating the case, and we trust they will clarify what did or did not happen in due time. 

We do however wish to reiterate that our public reporting on the subject of “overseas police liaison services” and extrajudicial return operations by the Chinese authorities is based exclusively on open-source statements by relevant Chinese authorities (such as the legal written interpretation to article 52 of the 2018 National Supervision Law or the annual data on fugitive return operations published by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection; press conferences by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate; and Ministry of Public Security sanctioned publications), or reports by Chinese State or Party media.

As such, our reports on the issue are not “allegations by Safeguard Defenders”, but a direct reflection of official Chinese policies and practices as propagated by PRC entities.

All our reports include the original sources for any statements made and are available for independent verification. 

We renew our call to democratic authorities to set up dedicated reporting hotlines for victims of transnational repression and ensure local law enforcement is aware of and understands the variety of threats that vulnerable groups and individuals may face.

We also continue to encourage victims of transnational repression efforts to report these to the relevant authorities in democratic countries as soon as possible and refer to our Pilot Reporting Guide (available in multiple languages) for basic instructions on how to document and report such events.