MONTREAL - Two Montreal-area Chinese community groups are threatening to sue the RCMP over what they say are defamatory allegations that they hosted secret “police stations” used by Beijing to intimidate members of the local Chinese community.
Service à la Famille chinoise du Grand Montréal and the Centre Sino-Québec de la Rive-Sud said in a lawyer’s letter sent to the federal police force Friday that they’ll file a lawsuit if the RCMP doesn’t pay them $2.5 million in alleged damages and apologize within 15 days for confirming they were subjects of the investigation.
Last March, the RCMP confirmed that it was investigating allegations that Chinese government officials were operating clandestine "police stations" out of the two groups' facilities. At the time, RCMP officers said the stations were used to put pressure on members of the Chinese community in Canada, sometimes by threatening friends or relatives living in China.
The federal police force said it was it was also investigating similar allegations of clandestine police stations in Vancouver and Toronto.
The Spanish human rights organization Safeguard Defenders, which has identified more than 100 of the alleged police stations in more than 50 countries, has said the stations serve to "persuade'' people who Chinese authorities claim are fugitives to return to China to face charges.