US resident sought by China for comments freed in Dubai
May 27, 2021
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A permanent resident of the United States wanted by China was freed by Dubai on Thursday, taking off on a flight to Turkey after spending weeks in detention.
Beijing had sought Wang Jingyu over his online comments about a deadly confrontation between Chinese and Indian forces last year.
Activists and his supporters say plainclothes police officers arrested the 19-year-old student as he came off an Emirates flight in April at Dubai International Airport, trying to connect on to New York. The State Department acknowledged his arrest, described the case as a “human rights” concern and warned that he could have faced extradition to China.
…“While in custody, Wang has been questioned by Dubai police for endangering national security, and has, according to his statements, been visited by both Chinese Embassy (Abu Dhabi) and Consulate (Dubai) staff repeatedly,” the rights group Safeguard Defenders said in a letter Wednesday to the UAE’s ambassador to the U.S.
… China’s influence in the UAE… has increasingly come under American scrutiny.
Do not worry, in the afternoon, after [I] urgently communicated with the White House and the U.S. State Department, the U.S. government started to intervene.This matter is serious, …… several officials from the State Department immediately took action. The State Department and White House officials also told me that they are currently handling this matter.
Prior to Mr. Wang’s arrest, while traveling overseas, he had voiced doubts regarding the actual circumstances of China’s clash with India over a disputed Himalayan border. As a result, CCP authorities had ordered that he surrender himself to them within a limited time.
While in detention, Mr. Wang learned through his lawyer that authorities arrested him for suspicion of “insulting religion.” Mr. Wang adamantly denied this accusation, asserting this charge to be an entirely absurd “fabricated crime.” As he has never set foot in Dubai in the past, Mr. Wang characterized his charge as “groundless.”
At the end of April, since my arrest, in total they came here three times, the first time … officials from the Chinese Embassy in Abu Dhabi [visited me], the next two times were officials from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai asking for my signature.[Authorities] even told me that if I did [sign], I no longer would have to go to prison.”
My lawyer, a relatively well-known local attorney, learned about the Chinese embassy in Dubai’s request to send me back [to China]. He told me that my case is a bit odd, and I should have been released quite a while ago.
~ Gao Zhensai, ChinaAid Special Correspondent