New York, 22 Sep 2020 (AFP) – A Tibetan police officer living in New York was accused on Monday of espionage and held responsible by the US authorities for gathering information about the Tibet community for the government. Chinese.
According to the accusation released, the police officer, who worked at a Queens police station, was following orders from members of the Chinese consulate in New York.
Through his contacts with the Tibetan community, the 33-year-old man allegedly collected information between 2018 and 2020 about the activities of Tibetan people in New York and identified possible sources of intelligence.
According to the prosecution records, the accused, who is a reserve of the United States Army, allegedly also allowed members of the consulate to be invited to events organized by the New York Police Department. Chinese authorities reportedly paid him tens of thousands of dollars for his services.
Four charges were brought against the police officer, including enlistment in the service of a foreign country on American soil, issuing false statements and obstructing the functioning of a public service.
He was introduced to a judge on Monday and taken into custody, a spokesman for the Brooklyn federal prosecutor told AFP. He is currently suspended without pay, according to a New York police spokesman.
Born in China, the man obtained political asylum in the United States after claiming that he was tortured by Chinese authorities because of his Tibetan origin. However, the investigation showed that his parents were members of the Chinese Communist Party.
“If confirmed by a court,” the case “would demonstrate that the Chinese Communist Party is conducting defamatory operations to contain differences, not just in Tibet, (…) but anywhere in the world,” said the International Campaign for Tibet , an organization that defends the rights of Tibetans.
Tibet operated autonomously between 1912 and 1950, but Beijing regained control of the territory in 1951 and the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetans, has lived in exile since 1959.