China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in Sweden have voiced concerns about the safety and legitimate rights of their citizens visiting the country and therefore issued a safety alert. The concerns in question mostly center on more frequent incidences of Chinese citizens being robbed in the Scandinavian country and then being poorly treated by Swedish police.
Most particularly, in the event of an emergency, it is advised that evidence of possible mistreatment by Swedish police should be collected, while ensuring safety, and that the Chinese Embassy should be contacted and informed of the case.
One of the most high-profile incidents, reported on by internet media outlet The Global Times, is one involving a Chinese man called Zeng and his elderly parents, who travelled to Stockholm in early September. Having arrived before the check-in time to their hotel, they were reportedly not allowed to rest in the lobby, being threatened with a call to police; the police then arrived and forcibly dragged Zeng’s father, who was suffering from a severe cardiovascular disease, out of the hotel building and threw him to the ground, causing him to start twitching.
According to Zeng, quoted by the media outlet, his subsequent calls for help drew a group of bystanders to the place, urging the police to assist the man’s father; however, the reaction was just the opposite: more police officers with guns arrived in two cars, to disperse the gathered crowd. In what he called a “nightmare,” Zeng said the police put the family into the car and started interrogating them if they were refugees or if they meant to use violence, before pushing on the brakes and throwing them into the darkness of a graveyard outside Stockholm, the location depicted in Zeng’s pictures obtained by The Global Times.
"I could not imagine this happening in any modern country, especially Sweden, the hometown of the Nobel Prize," the man said. "It is so sarcastic that they talk about human rights all the time," Zeng stated, adding he still awaits an explanation, apology and compensation from the Scandinavian country.
The state, which is home to the Nobel Prize and has had a policy of military neutrality for the better part of two centuries, as well as being known for its comparatively open doors to migrants and refugees, has grown increasingly concerned over the issue in recent years, which is essentially reflected in the latest nation-wide elections of September 9. The right-wing Sweden Democrats notably won 17.6 percent of the vote, up from 13 percent in 2014, thereby coming in third after the two long-established blocs, the center-left bloc comprising the Social Democrats and Greens and the center-right alliance made up of the Moderate Party, Center Party, Christian Democrats and the Liberals.
Sunday’s general election was the first since Sweden, with an overall population of no more than 10 million, took in a record 163,000 migrants in 2015 — the highest per capita of any European country. The center-left government has since attempted to restrict immigration, but many Swedes still complain that the society cannot cope with integrating so many newcomers, many of them Muslims from Africa and the Middle East.