MBN

NEWS

Chinese and Hong Kong students at British universities silenced by Beijing

Nicki Minaj arrested: Nicki Minaj's show at Co-op Live in Manchester postpon...
Published Time: 13.05.2024 - 05:40:15 Modified Time: 13.05.2024 - 05:40:15

They are spied on at protests and their parents are threatened back home, says Amnesty International Richard Stonehouse/Getty Hong Kong and Chinese students at British universities are being secretly photographed and filmed as part of a global pattern of harassment and intimidation by Beijing, according to Amnesty International

They are spied on at protests and their parents are threatened back home, says Amnesty International

: Richard Stonehouse/Getty

Hong Kong and Chinese students at British universities are being secretly photographed and filmed as part of a global pattern of harassment and intimidation by Beijing, according to Amnesty International.

In a new 63-page report released by the human rights group on Monday, students describe being followed at protests in their host cities, with many revealing that their families back home have also been threatened by police in connection with their activism overseas.

Amnesty carried out in-depth interviews with 32 Chinese students, including 12 from Hong Kong, studying at universities in eight countries – the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada and the United States.

Virtually all said they self-censored their social interactions, and more than half their online activity, fearing retaliation and surveillance by the Chinese authorities.

One student in the UK described noticing individuals appearing to monitor several protests that she attended: “Every time, there is someone we don’t know filming. Standing to the side, using their phones and recording,” she said.

She added that the age, appearance or demeanour of the individuals stood out as unusual, leading her to believe they might have been affiliated to the Chinese government.

Secretly photographed

Another Chinese student who held up a sign in support of Hong Kong protesters was secretly photographed at Edinburgh airport the next day and targeted with death threats on Chinese social media platform Weibo, contributing to the fear that students can be easily identified and targeted.

Amnesty reports that students’ families in China also face intimidation and threats, including the revoking of their passports or being fired from their jobs if their student children criticise the government while overseas.

Rowan, whose name and university have been kept anonymous, described how within hours of attending a commemoration of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, she heard from her father in China who had been contacted by security officials.

‘China’s transnational repression’

Comments

More stories

More from World News

More from The Telegraph

NEWS