China accuses Sweden of human rights violaton after 'brutal' treatment of tourists by police


Chinese officials have branded the treatment of a family visiting Sweden as a "human rights abuse" after they were forcibly removed from a Stockholm hostel.

Videos emerged on social media of the Chinese family being carried out of a hostel in Stockholm by police, allegedly in a dispute over check-in times.

The dispute ended in dramatic scenes with the family crying "This is Killing!" and screaming in the street outside the building.

Beijing's embassy in Sweden called the treatment "brutal abuse" on September 2, after officers carried out the hysterical family members.

Some members of the family are elderly and said to be suffering form health complaints.

A spokesman said: "Three Chinese tourists were brutally abused by the Swedish police. The Chinese Embassy in Sweden is deeply appalled and angered by what happened and strongly condemns the behaviour of the Swedish police.

"The Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China have made solemn representations to the Swedish government respectively in Stockholm and Beijing, stressing that what the police had done severely endangered the life and violated the basic human rights of the Chinese citizens. We urged the Swedish government to conduct thorough and immediate investigation, and respond to the Chinese citizens’ requests for punishment, apology and compensation in time. We cannot understand why the Swedish side has not given us any feedback.

"We hope that the Swedish side will handle the case in accordance with law, and urge the Swedish side again to take immediate actions to protect the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in Sweden."

The family arrived a night early for the booking at the Generator Hostel in Torstatanm, in the Norrmalm district of northern Stockholm. 

They were allowed to wait in the lobby but staff later ordered them to leave before police forcibly ejected them. Videos later emerged of the family being carried out by their arms and legs and left on the pavement outside.

The incident has reportedly escalated into a "diplomatic" row after Beijing made demands for Swedish authorities to investigate, and reprimand the officers.

Relations between China and Sweden have historically been friendly. The country was the first to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic in 1950, then under Mao Zedong. But ties have become increasingly strained in recent months, after the Dalai Lama, seen as a violent separatist in China, visited Sweden last week as part of a European tour, and China continues to detain the Chinese born Swedish citizen, Gui Minhai, 54, allegedly over his publishing of satirical literature in Hong Kong.

Political Analyst Malik Ayub Sumbal tweeted: "This is Sweden the torchbearer of Human Rights and lecturing the world on humanity, this is the actual face of fascists & fascism, the Swedish police treatment with the Chinese tourists is brutal, insane and racists."

But many have questioned the validity of the Zeng family's complaints as they dramatically wailed outside the hostel after being carried out by police, with reports that they were being verbally abusive themselves, and tried to sleep in the lobby.

The Guardian reported that on the Chinese blog website Weibo, commenters criticised how the incident "disgraced" China. “The Dalai Lama visits Sweden and the foreign ministry uses this incident as a pretext to make a fuss. That’s more embarrassing than the performance of this family,” one user wrote.

The family's son told the Global Times - an English-language newspaper in Beijing. “I was not able to think whether it is was appropriate or not. I just wanted to denounce the police and seek help from pedestrians.”

Sweden's foreign affairs department has said it is "looking into" an allegation that an officer struck the mother of the family.

A manager at the Generator hostel told Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, the family had arrived at midnight, hours before their booking the following morning, and when they refused to leave the police were called and they started to make verbal threats.

The Standard approached the Swedish police for comment, who said local prosecutors were now handling the incident. It is not known if any member of the family was arrested.

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