Denmark: Commission slams govt after finding Copenhagen illegally silenced anti-China demonstrators

Copenhagen Tibetan Protests. File image by Norbu GYACHUNG on Unsplash

Copenhagen/CMEDIA: A commission appointed by the government of Denmark recently slammed the country’s Foreign Ministry for giving in to Chinese pressure and preventing anti-Beijing demonstrations during state visits in 2012 and 2013, media reports said on Sunday.

The Tibet Commission found that Denmark’s intelligence and security service used pressure to convince police in Copenhagen to stop all anti-China demonstrations, in violation of the country’s constitution, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.

Protesters were prevented from gathering within sight of the visiting Chinese delegations.

Apart from hiding the protesters behind buses, the police had snatched the Tibetan flags from them.

China had canceled several official visits to Denmark after a 2009 “unofficial” meeting between then Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and the Dalai Lama. The commission found that the canceled visits caused Copenhagen to pursue China-friendly policies, reports RFA.

“This issue is being discussed in the press and it is being dealt by many ministerial and politicians. Several ministers have already commented that they will try to remedy these mistakes,” Anders Højmark Andersen, chairman of the Tibet Support Committee in Denmark, told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“This is the second report by the Tibet Commission which has dealt with period from 1995 to 2015, so it covers 20 years. There have been more than 200 Chinese official visits to Denmark in this period but it also deals with Tibetans’ visit to Denmark like His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit,” Andersen said.

Andersen noted that although pro-Tibetan independence groups were allowed to demonstrate, they were often placed in areas where visiting Chinese officials would never run into them.

“And that’s the problem,” he said. “During Hu Jintao’s visit in 2012, police even took Tibetan flags away from us in the street but we still succeeded in showing the Tibetan flag to the Chinese president, fortunately”.

“I think that now Chinese officials will hesitate before visiting Denmark on a very high level. And I also think they will only send lower-level leaders to Denmark in the future because now they know that they cannot persuade the police to hide us anymore,” Andersen said.