By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, April 12: Swedish authorities have charged a 49-year-old Tibetan man with espionage for spying on fellow Tibetan refugees in Sweden and Norway for the Chinese government, according to various media reports.
Dorjee Gyantsan was accused of infiltrating the Tibetan community to pass information on their personal and political activities to Chinese officials in exchange for money by the Swedish prosecutors in the charge sheet, reports theoutlookindia.com.
The 49-year-old man who faces up to four years in prison has denied all charges, Mikael Soderberg, his lawyer has told AFP, the report said.
The Chinese spy is said to have acquired resident status as a refugee in Sweden in the early 2000s and posed as a supporter of Tibetan independence, the prosecutors have disclosed.
The prosecutors have further stated that Dorjee has attended anti-China protests in Norway and also covered a visit of the Dalai Lama to Norway as a reporter for the pro-Tibetan Voice of Tibet, in order to collect information on Tibetan refugees.
The espionage is believed to have taken place from July 2015 to February 2017, when he was arrested, the report said.
“This is a very serious crime. The espionage has affected very vulnerable people,” prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist is reported to have told AFP.
Around 130 Tibetans live in the Scandinavian country. An organisation called Tibetan Community in Sweden has said, “People who have fled to Sweden from totalitarian regimes must be able to feel safe and feel that they can exercise their constitutionally-protected freedom to protest against a regime without fear of persecution or attacks on themselves or their families.”
According to the prosecutors, Dorjee had met repeatedly with a Chinese embassy secretary in Poland to pass on information, receiving thousands of dollars (euros) in exchange. The meetings were held outside Sweden ‘to make it more difficult to uncover the operation’.
When Dorjee was arrested in February last year, he had just returned from a trip to Warsaw. He was carrying USD 6,000 in cash, which the prosecutors believe was payment for his information.
The prosecution’s evidence further includes witness testimonies about his contacts with the Tibetan community and the suspect’s phone and travel records.