After the high-profile attempts in New York to quiet opponents, the FBI in Oregon is reaching out to people of Chinese origin in the Pacific Northwest to encourage them to report any har@ssment or st@lking from the Chinese government.
This month, the FBI has placed advertising in The Asian Reporter and the Portland Chinese Times, calling on readers to report instances of international repression, According to oregonlive.com.
The related tweet is also available here:
FBI does outreach in Oregon to target potential h@rassment, st@lking of residents of Chinese descent https://t.co/2GjD6tpvaw
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) May 11, 2023
The advertisements ask: “Are you being harassed, stalked, or threatened by a federal government? It could be transnational repression, which is ILLEGAL in the U.S.,” and provides the FBI’s phone number in Portland.
Oregon’s top FBI agent, Kieran Ramsey, has claimed the bureau had “specific concerns in the Northwest,” but he has been cagey about providing any information.
Two U.S. citizens were detained earlier this month on accusations of running a covert Chinese police station in the Big Apple. In a separate case, 44 Chinese officials were charged with violating American land by implementing Chinese law. In both cases, federal law enforcement authorities say they saw an attempt by the Chinese government to influence events within the United States.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, and other members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee introduced a bill earlier this year that would make it official U.S. policy to punish foreign governments and individuals who harass, threaten or physically att@ck people in the United States or American citizens abroad.
The bill would require the President of the United States to submit a list to Congress of foreign individuals who should be sanctioned for “knowingly and unknowingly engaging” in transnational repression and would call for establishing a tip line through which such allegations could be reported.
Last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that the Chinese government and Communist Party threatened American security through counterintelligence and economic espionage.
According to Ramsey, asylum-seeking Chinese dissidents, journalists, or political opponents of President Xi Jinping’s regime may be the targets of cyberstalkers and blackmailers.
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“We are aware of the things going on out there, and we want to do something about it,” he said. “We want to identify it, and we want to put a stop to it.”
President Helen Ying of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance in Portland, which advocates for and protects the civil rights of persons of Chinese ancestry in the area, claimed the organization was unaware of the FBI’s outreach attempts in the state. “I am curious,” she exclaimed.
The FBI is advertising in The Asian Reporter this month and in the Portland Chinese Times weekly.
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