April 11, 2018 / 1:55 PM / 3 months ago

Sweden charges man with spying on Tibetan exiles for China

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden has charged a man with spying on Tibetan exiles on behalf of the Chinese security services, the state prosecutor said on Wednesday.

The man is suspected of gathering information about exiles’ housing, family situation, political activities and meetings, state prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said in a statement.

He then passed this information on to a Chinese security agent, according to the statement.

“This is a very serious crime,” Ljungqvist said. He gave no further details on the identity of the suspect.

China’s embassy in Stockholm declined to comment.

Chinese forces entered Tibet in 1950 and took control in what the government terms a “peaceful liberation”.

International human rights groups and exiles routinely condemn what they call China’s oppressive rule. They say pervasive surveillance and displays of military force are being used to intimidate and quell dissent.

China rejects the accusations.

There are around 140 Tibetans living in Sweden, according to the Tibetan Community in Sweden.

Reporting by Simon Johnson and Johan Sennero; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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