Wednesday 18 July 2018

Two Irish teachers detained in Beijing due to 'issues with visas'

Stock picture of prison bars (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Stock picture of prison bars (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Kyle Ewald

Two Irish teachers have been detained in Bejing due to alleged issues with their visas.

Both women, one from Co Kildare and the other from Co Offaly, were on working visas and teaching in Beijing schools.

It is understood the two women each took a second job teaching in an unlicensed private school, although it is understood the women took the job with honest intentions and were unaware it was not licensed.

The pair, along with nine others, were arrested last Saturday for working illegally.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed to Independent.ie that it is currently providing consular assistance to a number of Irish citizens in Beijing.

Officials from the Irish Embassy have also been in talks with Chinese prison authorities in relation to the women’s case.

Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare South Fiona O’Loughlin said the case is "incredibly upsetting" and that the Irish embassy is "doing their absolute best to get the girls out".

Ms O’Loughlin told Independent.ie : "It’s extremely upsetting both for these two girls and their families, I can only imagine.

"Their families are understandably worried because [the girls] haven’t had the opportunity to call home yet, but they are being looked after in the prison."

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