Extraordinary evidence has emerged that the Metropolitan Police targeted a Chinese dissident in London following concerted pressure from Beijing. . . .
After being taken to a local police station for a breach of the peace the 52-year-old was subsequently arrested for conspiracy to commit a section 5 public order act offence. This is a more serious charge that then enabled officers to search his London home, seizing computers which Shao suspects may have been given to Chinese authorities before they were returned to him.
Police watchdog investigators then found evidence that the Met’s treatment of Shao, one of the last protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989, was influenced by pressure from Beijing to ensure Xi was not “embarrassed” by protests during his visit.
Following Chinese pressure, documents show UK government officials, understood to be from the Home Office, also made “unusual requests” to the police about managing the state visit, an intervention that one officer described as “unprecedented”.
Investigators from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) found proof that demands from Chinese officials, including its security service, may have informed the decision to arrest Shao for conspiracy. “There is evidence to indicate that these requests, together with their consideration of the ongoing risk to the CSV [Chinese state visit] and to Shao’s safety, thereby influenced the decision to arrest Shao for conspiracy,” stated an IPOC report.
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Speaking for the first time about the incident Shao, who escaped Hong Kong before its handover to China in 1997, told the Observer: “I expected so much more in a democratic country.”
Well, Britain’s only kinda one of those these days.