Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (324, 325)

Joan Collins

Question:

324. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps he has taken in relation to the case of a person (details supplied) detained by the authorities in China. [8968/21]

View answer

Cian O'Callaghan

Question:

325. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps he is taking to ensure an Irish citizen (details supplied) returns home given they are banned from exiting China despite there being no charges against them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9187/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 324 and 325 together.

I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department is providing ongoing consular assistance to this citizen through our Consular Assistance Unit in Dublin, our Embassy in Beijing and our Consulate General in Shanghai. Our Consul General has been meeting and engaging regularly with the citizen since we were first informed of this complex case in March 2019, and continues to provide all possible consular advice and support. The case has been raised repeatedly at senior political and diplomatic level with the relevant authorities in China, and with the Embassy of China to Ireland. These engagements have highlighted the humanitarian aspects of the case, and the importance of the citizen being permitted to leave China and return home as soon as possible. The Deputy will appreciate that it would not be appropriate to discuss the details of any individual consular case, nor to comment on matters pertaining to a legal process in another jurisdiction. However, I can assure the Deputy that my Department will continue to provide all possible consular assistance to the citizen until he is permitted to return to Ireland.