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  • By The Financial District

EU Nags China On Why Its Employee Hasn't Been Freed After 8 Months

The European Union (EU) is seeking a “proper answer” from Chinese authorities over the eight-month-long detention of a local employee from its Beijing delegation, noting that Beijing has not explained why the staffer has been arrested.

Photo Insert: EU spokeswoman Nabila Massrali

In a statement provided to CNN Sunday, the EU revealed Beijing police had arrested the staffer in September 2021. “We are concerned for his well-being,” EU spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said.

“Despite several requests on our side to the Chinese authorities, we have so far not been informed — neither of the allegation(s) nor of the specific charge(s) he faces. We will continue inquiring until we get a proper answer.”

The arrest was first reported by French newspaper Le Monde, which identified the Chinese employee as An Dong, who worked for the IT department of the EU’s Beijing mission.

The report said An was detained in Sichuan province in China’s southwest on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” — a vague offense commonly used by the Chinese government to prosecute dissidents and human rights activists.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

According to Le Monde, the EU had sent three diplomatic letters to the Chinese Foreign Ministry asking for an explanation for his arrest but had not heard back. CNN has reached out to the Chinese Foreign Ministry for comment.

In 2019, a former local employee of the British Consulate in Hong Kong was detained for 15 days in mainland China during a business trip. The Hong Kong citizen, Simon Cheng, claimed he was tortured during detention and interrogated by secret police about Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. Cheng was later granted asylum in the United Kingdom.

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