PST, Oslo Freedom Forum | China's Embassy Responds to PST's Claims of Intelligence Activities and Transnational Repression in Norway

PST, Oslo Freedom Forum |  China's Embassy Responds to PST's Claims of Intelligence Activities and Transnational Repression in Norway

OSLO KONSERTHUS (Nettavisen): This week the International Human Rights Conference Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) will be held at the Oslo Konserthus.

The Norwegian Police Protection Service (PST) recently told Nettavisen that certain individuals at the conference may be subject to threats from certain states.

The Chinese Embassy in Oslo has responded to PST's allegations. The embassy writes a comment to Netavision, which counters PST's allegations, and emphasizes that there is no direct conflict between Norway and China.

– The embassy writes that in the past 70 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China has always regarded Norway as a cooperation partner.

Also Read: PST does not rule out espionage at Oslo conference

– The embassy writes that the agency has repeatedly branded China “engaged in espionage activities” and “conducted national repression” without providing any credible evidence.

– What is their purpose? “Ensure safety” or create panic? We hope that the Norwegian people will not be misled by false accusations and will take a rational and objective view of China, the embassy wrote in response.

The embassy adds that Norwegians are welcome to China to “experience the real China”.

Transnational oppression

The background to the criticism of the Chinese embassy is the statements of Inger Haugland, the PST's head of counterintelligence.

– Many states, including what we call, conduct intelligence operations in Norway . These countries include Russia, China and Iran, Haaglund told Netavisense.

– Authoritarian states implement transnational repression in the form of pressure and threats to silence criticism of their regimes. Some states use their diplomatic representations to limit the freedom of expression of their critics in Norway, Haagland said.

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Haugland had previously told Netavisen that Chinese actors threatened and intimidated participants at an unnamed human rights conference in Oslo.

Also Read: PST:- Chinese actors threaten people at Oslo conference

Netavisen asked PST if Chinese and Russian intelligence could monitor participants at the Oslo Freedom Forum.

– OFF is a large conference that often gathers people who are vulnerable to threats from certain states. Haagland replied that BST knew this.

– The PST wants the participants to feel safe and works closely with the police regarding such events, and we want there to be a lower threshold for contacting the PST in incidents that fall under the command of the PST, he said.

Also read: – Norwegian is embarrassing to speak

They tried to penetrate

Thor Halvorssen is the president and founder of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), which organizes the Oslo Freedom Forum.

He has recently confirmed to Netavision that foreign actors have tried to infiltrate the conference to threaten and pressure it or carry out intelligence operations.

– We and our participants have been the target of threats, pressure and espionage from authoritarian regimes and their embassies, where employees have tried to infiltrate the conference posing as businessmen, Halvorsen told Netavisen a few days before the conference.

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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