Two Irish teachers who were jailed in Beijing for taking part-time work outside of their assigned school have been freed after 10 days. The two women, whose names have not been released, were teaching English in Beijing at language schools for which the had the correct work visas.
However, they were arrested on May 5 after they were found working at another unlicensed private school.
The pair were released on Tuesday after spending 10 days in single cells. They were reportedly well treated but unable to contact their familes throughout the ordeal.
The Irish Times reports that the women, who were detained along with nine others during the raid, did not know it was illegal to take on additional part-time work on their current visas.The pair remain in Beijing and it is unclear whether any additional punishments will be handed out.
Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has since updated its advice for Irish nationals travelling to China, stating:“The embassy strongly recommends that anyone who is considering teaching English in China should research prospective employing schools and language centres thoroughly and ensure their bona fides.”
Since Beijing set up the new State Immigration Administration in March, authorities have made a show of becoming more strict on foreigners entering and working in China. According to official data, there were 900,000 more foreigners working in mainland China in 2016 compared to only 10,000 in the 1980s.
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Keywords: teaching English in Beijing
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Gotta love the conspiracy theories being bruited in the responses above. Nope, China is just finally cracking down on idiots these days. A 1 minute call to the Chinese Embassy in their home country would have let them know they require permission from the authorities. Or a couple of minutes on the Internet would have cleared it up for them as well. Seriously, who goes to a foreign country with the intention of staying and working and doesn't at least spend a few minutes checking up on the applicable issues? Nowadays the information is literally at your fingertips and there is no excuse for what they did. It does however explain why they are not working back home. If you are too lazy to bother checking the Internet for a few moments, you are likely to be too lazy to be bothered to do your job (any job) properly.
Jun 02, 2018 14:12 Report Abuse
Unsettling. But as ambivalentmace mentioned, this must've been caused by something special or someone with a vengeance. The PSB tends to be pretty laid-back when it comes to ESL, and detaining (mostly) legal teachers for 10 days sounds way over the top.
May 18, 2018 04:01 Report Abuse