Report criticizes Danish authorities for giving in to China

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A government-appointed commission on Monday criticized the Foreign Ministry and Denmark’s intelligence and security service for putting pressure on the Copenhagen police to violate the Danish Constitution by giving in to Chinese pressure and barring anti-China demonstrations during official visits from Beijing.

The Tibet Commission looked into the roles of Danish authorities in connection with state visits from China between 1995 and 2013, and chiefly into the events around then-President Hu Jintao’s official visit to Copenhagen in 2012.

The Commission said it was “highly reprehensible” that the Foreign Ministry “encouraged and cooperated in preventing anti-Chinese demonstrations,” and the ministry put pressure on the police “to avoid offending Chinese guests” placing it “above the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.”

The Commission also said that the security service, known by its Danish acronym PET, “made recommendations regarding the actions of the Copenhagen Police by repeatedly passing on the Chinese wishes to avoid being confronted with anti-Chinese demonstrations etc.”

Incidents included demonstrators being hidden behind police vehicles and hence not visible to a passing Chinese delegation in 2012. In the same year, police officers also wrenched Tibetan flags from the hands of protesters shortly before a delegation from China drove by.

In a previous report from 2017, the commission concluded that the police had given illegal orders in connection with the protests, which prevented people from gathering and violated their right to free speech during official visits in 2012 and 2013.

However, the the government decided to reopen the Commission’s work four years ago after new information emerged about the police handling of official Chinese visits.

In a statement Monday, Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup whose office had ordered the report, said it was “completely unacceptable that freedom of speech and assembly have been trampled on in connection with official Chinese visits.”

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