Joanna Chiu. Activist arrest puts foreign NGOs in China on edge. IRIN

January 25, 2016. 

BEIJING, 25 January 2016 (IRIN) - Foreign NGO employees in China watched in horror last week as a Swedish rights activist went on state television to deliver what colleagues described as a “forced confession”.

With the Chinese government already preparing legislation expected to severely curtail NGO activities, it isn’t just human rights lawyers and activists who are running scared.

Chinese state media said the detention of Peter Dahlin was part of a police operation to “smash [an] illegal organisation jeopardising China's national security”.

Dahlin was reportedly expelled from China today. 

The 35-year-old co-founder of the Chinese Urgent Action Working Group, which provides legal assistance to local activists, had been detained since 4 January. 

“I have hurt the feelings of the Chinese people,” Dahlin said in his televised statement, which, on the surface at least, was full of contrition. "I apologise sincerely for this and I am very sorry that this has happened.”

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