Original question: The Parisian Overseas Chinese returned to the country to distribute love masks to their compatriots and were detained by the police: I just want to do good deeds, why are they treated like thieves?
[Global Times-Global Network Reporter Bai Yunyi Chen Qingqing] According to media reports, on April 5th, two heads of the French Chinese community were detained and questioned by the Paris police for distributing masks donated domestically to the local Chinese overseas Chinese for free. Ren Limin, one of the parties to the incident and chairman of the "French Overseas Chinese Association", told the Global Times on the 8th that after 24 hours of detention, he and another person in charge of the overseas Chinese group Gao Mingkeng were released on the 6th local time, but Both are required to appear in court in September. In addition, another 15,000 masks donated domestically to overseas Chinese in France are still being detained by the French police, because the police believe that these masks need to be "processed again by September."
In an interview with the Global Times, Ren Limin traced the whole incident to reporters. He told reporters that these masks were donated by the Wenzhou Overseas Chinese Association in Zhejiang Province to the "Wenzhou Association of People in the World" to Chinese overseas Chinese in Europe. Among them, 160,000 masks were donated to France and arrived on the day of April 2. The largest overseas Chinese group in France, the "French Overseas Chinese Association", is distributed by the association to various Zhejiang-based societies in France, and then distributed to Chinese and overseas Chinese by various societies. According to Ren Limin, starting from the 3rd, he and his colleagues have distributed masks to the overseas Chinese leaders of various Zhejiang Chinese Associations and other provincial associations in China. Among them, Gao Mingkeng, president of the French Zhejiang Association, received 4,000 masks because of the need to maintain I was isolated at home, so temporarily store these masks at home.
(Picture: The mask donated to overseas Chinese by Wenzhou arrived in France on April 2 and was donated and distributed by the local Chinese association "French Overseas Chinese Association")
Ren Limin said that on the 5th, Gao Mingkeng received a call from a branch president of his association, saying that they urgently needed 100 masks, partly to be donated to a local hospital, and partly for their own use. "So, Gao Mingkeng drove to give the mask to the overseas Chinese. He had a total of 400 masks on his car at the time. He wanted to hand over 300 to the other three overseas Chinese for distribution. The result was eight plainclothes policemen on the way. Interrogation. The police found 400 masks in his car and immediately went to his home to search and found another 3,600 masks, so Gao Mingkeng was detained and the masks were confiscated. "Ren Limin said that during the period, the French police asked Gao Mingkeng the source and use of the masks , Gao Zuo replied that the "Overseas Chinese Association of France" gave it away and will donate it to the local hospital.
After Gao Mingkeng was detained, the French police went to the headquarters of the "French Overseas Chinese Association" to search, detained more than 11,000 masks that were still put in the association, and took away Ren Limin. Ren Limin told the Global Times reporter that the French police told him that they suspected that he was reselling masks. Ren Limin explained to the police that the masks were donated to local overseas Chinese for China. The source and distribution process were free of charge, without any commercial transactions, and showed them the relevant documents. But the French police also told him that individuals and associations cannot have a large number of masks, nor have the right to accept donations or donate masks to others.
Ren Limin recalled to reporters that he was subsequently locked in a small room of four square meters by French police. "It smells bad, the ground is dirty, and there is only a plastic mattress that can lie down for a while. It is treated like a thief." He said that during the 24 hours in custody, he had been interrogated 5 times by different policemen. "Some attitudes are okay, some attitudes are poor."
According to Ren Limin, part of the masks sent to the French overseas Chinese by the "World Wenzhou Association" has been donated to the local French, such as the government of a certain area of Paris, and even the police station. Cao Huaqin, another overseas Chinese leader from Fujian who is familiar with the matter and participated in donating to the local area, and the chairman of the European-Chinese Youth Culture and Art Exchange Association also confirmed to the Global Times reporter that his association is donating masks to France, who works in the field. The police and the local government department also showed the reporter a thank-you letter from the mayor of Ruel in the 92nd province of Paris. Cao Huaqin said that he called the police who received his donation after the incident and asked them to communicate with the police station where Ren Limin and Gao Mingkeng were detained, but the latter did not agree to release.
Ren Limin said that after 24 hours in custody, Gao Mingkeng and he were released, but they were told that they will appear in court again in September this year, and the detained 15,000 masks have not been returned yet. Then decide how to deal with it. According to Cao Huaqin told reporters, after the incident, some French media also maliciously distorted, saying that Chinese overseas Chinese sold masks in France, and attached an untrue photo, "This photo is a mask of FFP2 specifications. It ’s not the ordinary surgical mask we donated. This kind of distortion makes us very angry. ”
According to a reporter from the Global Times, French Prime Minister Philip signed Executive Order No. 281 of 2020 on March 20 to relax the control of imported masks and other protective materials, allowing each French to purchase no more than 5 million masks for their own use Or donations, if it exceeds this amount, will be expropriated by the government. The number of 160,000 masks received by the "French Overseas Chinese Association" did not exceed this limit, but it is unclear whether the decree applies to the association.
"I just want to do something good. I really don't know what law this violates, how could it break the law." Ren Limin was a little helpless and a little angry. He emphasized to reporters that he had business and income in France, and there was no need to make money by selling masks during the epidemic.
According to a statement issued by the Chinese Embassy in France on the 8th, when the incident occurred, the embassy expressed its concerns to the French police for the first time and provided the necessary support to the parties through legal channels. Both have been released. The above two responsible persons assisted in distributing masks free of charge to Chinese compatriots in France who are in urgent need of epidemic prevention materials at the request of Zhejiang World Federation of Wenzhou People ’s Associations. . It should be emphasized that these masks are imported through legal channels. The French government does not prohibit people from wearing masks. The two responsible persons are engaged in public welfare rather than commercial activities, and have not violated the relevant French laws and regulations.
In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in France also stated that relevant media reported that three Chinese students at noon on the 7th were detained by the police for assisting the Chinese Embassy in sending out “health packages” for foreign students. Go to the police station to negotiate. Three students were released on the afternoon of the same day, and the "health pack" was returned. China has expressed concern to the relevant departments of the French government regarding the above-mentioned incident and hopes that similar incidents will not happen again. The Chinese Embassy in France will, as always, do its utmost to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese compatriots in France.