By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, April 12: A Tibetan man has been charged by Sweden for spying and passing information about Tibetan refugees and their personal details to the Chinese government. Swedish state prosecutor said that the 49 year-old Tibetan man attended political meetings in the country as well as in other European nations.
Prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist told Swedish media that the Tibetan man whose identity is not revealed passed on information about the Tibetan refugee community as well as personal details like where they live, their family relationships, and their travel plans to representatives of the Chinese state.
Ljungqvist said the man had been in touch with Chinese officials in Poland and Finland and that he had been paid 50,000 krona (£5,850) on one occasion.
There are close to 140 Tibetans living in Sweden. The head of the Tibetan community organisation there, Jamyang Choedon told The Local
, "It is clear that there are spies who are sent by China to Tibetan communities, but this is the first time it’s been officially investigated.
"It will be interesting for us to know if it's really true or not. We've heard that it's happening, but now we might have evidence."
The Tibetan man was arrested last February by Swedish Intelligence Service. “The arrested man is suspected of having, at the request of another country, illegally gathered information about people in the Tibetan community in Sweden,” Sweden’s security agency SAPO at that time said in a statement, days after the arrest.
Reports published by Swedish news agency The Local
as well as international media houses like The Guardian
mentioned that the Tibetan man worked for exile Tibetan news outlet ‘Voice of Tibet’. The media outlet that is reputed in the Tibetan community and internationally for Tibet-related news operates out of Dharamshala, India. VOT told Phayul that the man charged with espionage was never in their payroll and that such claims were false in its entirety.