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Q: China detains 2 US citizens who ran teaching program ...

https://news.yahoo.com/china-detains-2-us-citizens-090051080.html

 

BEIJING (AP) — China said Thursday it detained two U.S. citizens on suspicion of organizing others to illegally cross the border, amid sharpening tensions between the sides over trade, technology and other sensitive issues.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said police in the eastern province of Jiangsu arrested Alyssa Petersen and Jacob Harlan on Sept. 27 and Sept. 29.

"The department handling the case has informed the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai in a timely manner, arranged U.S. diplomats to conduct consular visits and protected the legitimate rights and interests of the two," Geng said at a regular press briefing.

Harlan is the owner and Petersen the director of a Rexburg, Idaho-based organization called China Horizons, whose website says it is an English teaching program that offers an "immersive experience within a Chinese school."

However, a post on the 17-year-old group's Facebook page dated Saturday said it would be shutting down at the end of the month.

"Unfortunately, because of increasing political and economic problems between the U.S. and China, we are no longer able to send teachers to china safely," the post said.

It said Harlan and Petersen may be detained "for the next few months or years."

"They are being charged for bogus crimes and their families are working on getting them international lawyers to help them get back home to the States," the post said.

Police in the Jiangsu city of Zhenjiang, where the two are being held, did not immediately respond to questions submitted by phone and fax.

A pair of GoFundMe sites set up for the two has raised nearly $40,000 toward their legal defense and other expenses.

According to Harlan's site, he is a father of five from Utah who was taken from his hotel room on the morning of Sept. 28, along with his 8-year-old daughter, Viara.

It said that Viara Harlan was allowed to make a brief call to her mother in Utah after 48 hours, but not permitted to disclose her location or say anything about what had happened. Police later allowed her to fly home to the U.S. accompanied by a family friend, according to the site.

Petersen's page says she was held incommunicado for two weeks after being taken away by police and was located only after her family went to the State Department for assistance.

"We received information that she is doing OK. She wakes up when told, she goes to sleep when told. She spends her day in a jail cell or walking in a circle counting steps," the site said.

The site said Petersen taught and trained the group's teachers, ran the Rexburg home office and attended Brigham Young University-Idaho, a school affiliated with the Mormon church.

The charge of organizing others to illegally cross the border carries a minimum sentence of two years, with punishment as severe as life imprisonment under certain circumstances.

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing confirmed that it's aware of the detentions and the charges brought against the two but gave no further details.

"We take seriously our responsibility to assist U.S. citizens abroad and are monitoring the situation," an embassy spokesman said on routine condition of anonymity.

While the charge generally applies to human traffickers, it has also been used in the past against those accused of conducting missionary work in China, which the officially atheist communist government strictly forbids. Last year, a U.S. missionary, the Rev. John Sanqiang Cao, was sentenced to seven years in prison on the same charge.

The case comes as relations have soured between Beijing and Washington over a range of issues, including punitive U.S. tariffs leveled on Chinese exports over accusations that China cheats on trade and uses theft or coercion to illicitly obtain American technology.

They have also tangled over U.S. criticism of Chinese human rights abuses, the handling of increasingly violent anti-government protests in Hong Kong and China's assertion of its claims to virtually the entire South China Sea.

Geng, however, downplayed the possibility of outside factors weighing on Petersen and Harlan's cases.

"I did not see any specific connection between this matter and the current China-U.S. relations," he told reporters.

4 weeks 1 day ago in  Health & Safety - China

 
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From what I read, they were engaged in some shady deals regarding the trafficking of illegal workers. 

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4 weeks 6 hours ago
 
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Beijing Confirms Arrest Of Two Americans As Trade Tensions Rise

"She cannot have any contact with anyone outside of a Consulate Officer who can visit once a month and a Lawyer."

  • 383 
  • OCT 17, 2019 8:25 AM

Beijing Confirms Arrest Of Two Americans As Trade Tensions Rise.

by Tyler Durden
Thu, 10/17/2019 - 08:25.

In a report that probably sent a chill down the spine of all Americans working or living in mainland China, two Americans who run an English-teaching business in China have been arrested and detained on "bogus" charges, according to a statement published on their company's Facebook page..

Jacob Harlan, a father of five, and Alyssa Petersen, were arrested in Jiangsu province last month, according to Hong Kong Free Press..

Alyssa Petersen

Their detention echoes the arrest of two Canadian nationals late last year. One man was a former diplomat, while the other ran a business taking westerners on tours of North Korea. They're both still in prison in China after formerly being charged with endangering national security. The charges are widely seen as bogus, and the arrests as political retribution for the detention of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities at the behest of American prosecutors..

In the US, a gofundme page has been set up to raise money for their legal fees. According to the page, the two were charged with "illegally moving people across borders.".

Their arrests are being reported amid negotiations between the US and Beijing over a potential trade deal. The State Department said that it's "aware" of the arrests and that it is taking its duty to assist the two US citizens seriously..

"We are aware of the detention of two US citizens in Jiangsu, China and the charges being brought against them by the provincial government," a US State Department official said on condition of anonymity..

"We take seriously our responsibility to assist US citizens abroad and are monitoring the situation."

.

China Horizons said in a Facebook post last week that the pair "are being charged for bogus crimes and their families are working on getting them international lawyers to help them get back home to the States." The company helps Americans find posts teaching English at Chinese schools. It said on its Facebook page that it now plans to shut down at the end of October..

"Unfortunately, because of increasing political and economic problems between the U.S. and China, we are no longer able to send teachers to china safely," the company wrote on its Facebook page..

Harlan, the founder of the company, is reportedly being held in a hotel in Zhenjiang under police surveillance. He was detained while he was with his eight-year-old daughter at a hotel in Weifang. Peterson, who is an employee with China Horizons, was detained around Sept. 27 and wasn't heard from for two weeks until the State Department finally located her..

"We received information that she is doing okay, She wakes up when told, she goes to sleep when told. She spends her day in a Jail Cell or walking in a circle counting steps," the gofundme.com page said..

"She cannot have any contact with anyone outside of a Consulate Officer who can visit once a month and a Lawyer.".

According to Bloomberg, the arrests come on what appears to be a broader crackdown on foreign teachers working in China. State-owned news agency Xinhua has reported that 16 foreign teachers were arrested in July, following reports that thousands of teachers may be working in the country illegally. Notably, the crackdown follows the imposition of new rules about Chinese diplomats operating in the US, requiring them to notify American officials if they visit research institutions or hold meetings with Americans. China claims these restrictions violate the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

Geng Shuang, the spokesman for China's foreign ministry, confirmed the detentions, and urged the US to "correct its mistake" and withdraw the new diplomatic rules, adding that he "doesn't see" how the detentions could be related to trade.

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4 weeks 1 day ago
 
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Were they treated to some 'imaginative treatment' to help them see the error of their way?

 

ok,,,  let's have a 

'Name the Worst Form of Torture' Contest!

 

I say....   'The Metal Hood where they Drop a Live Rat Inside' Trick!

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4 weeks 13 hours ago
 
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From what I read, they were engaged in some shady deals regarding the trafficking of illegal workers. 

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4 weeks 6 hours ago
 
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