Many Tibetans have complained about repressive conditions under China, which has ruled Tibet since 1950. Tibetans are barred from publicly worshiping the Dalai Lama and say that their language and culture have been suppressed. After widespread protests by Tibetans in 2008, China imposed a security clampdown.
Mr. Ljungqvist told SVT that the suspect had been in contact with Chinese officials in Poland and Finland. He reportedly said the man received 50,000 kronor ($6,000) on at least one occasion and had his expenses paid.
The prosecutor was not immediately available for comment. The suspect’s lawyer, Mikael Soderberg, told The Associated Press that his client denied the charges.
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“It is shocking news to us that China is spying on us,” Jamyang Choedon, the president of a Tibetan community group in Sweden, told The A.P. “This is not acceptable.”
“We have heard it is happening but now we might have a case,” Ms. Choedon said, adding that to her knowledge “this is the first time it’s been officially investigated.”
She said the Tibetan community in Sweden included some 140 people, including children. “We all know each other. I know him.”
The case comes at a time when relations between Stockholm and Beijing are tense.
China is holding a Chinese-born Swedish national on suspicion of leaking state secrets and has rebuked Sweden for demanding his release.
The Swedish national, Gui Minhai, 53, a Hong Kong-based bookseller, was taken off a train by the police on Jan. 20 while in the presence of two Swedish diplomats with whom he was traveling to Beijing.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has sharply questioned the rule of law in China and blasted Beijing’s “brutal” treatment of Mr. Gui. Mr. Gui sold books about Chinese leaders and Beijing has said he had “violated Chinese laws and thus must be dealt with in accordance with Chinese laws.”