Sweden condemns China’s ‘brutal’ detention of bookseller Gui Minhai


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Sweden condemns China’s ‘brutal’ detention of bookseller Gui Minhai” was written by Tom Phillips in Beijing, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 6th February 2018 07.55 Asia/Kolkata

Sweden’s foreign minister has condemned China’s “brutal” detention of a Hong Kong bookseller who irked Beijing with his tabloid-style stories about the Communist party elite.

Gui Minhai, a China-born Swedish citizen, was picked up by plainclothes agents on 20 January as he travelled on a train to Beijing with two Swedish diplomats. Supporters said he had been traveling to the Chinese capital for a medical examination.

Gui had spent much of the previous two years in custody in east China after his suspected rendition from his holiday home in Thailand. Until his second disappearance, hopes had been rising among supporters for his release.

In a statement Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, said: “The continued detention of the Swedish citizen Gui Minhai in China is a very serious matter.”

Wallstrom labelled the action against Gui and the two diplomats as a “brutal intervention”: “China’s actions were in contravention of basic international rules on consular support.

“We demand that our citizen be given the opportunity to meet Swedish diplomatic and medical staff, and that he be released so that he can be reunited with his daughter and family.”

The statement signals a marked escalation from Sweden which has been publicly cautious over the case ever since Gui first went missing in October 2015.

On Sunday the publisher’s daughter, Angela Gui, told the Guardian that her father’s whereabouts remained a mystery.

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Sweden condemns China's 'brutal' detention of bookseller Gui Minhai | NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE

Rajesh Ahuja

I am a veteran journalist based in Chandigarh India.I joined the profession in June 1982 and worked as a Staff Reporter with the National Herald at Delhi till June 1986. I joined The Hindu at Delhi in 1986 as a Staff Reporter and was promoted as Special Correspondent in 1993 and transferred to Chandigarh. I left The Hindu in September 2012 and launched my own newspaper ventures including this news portal and a weekly newspaper NORTH INDIA KALEIDOSCOPE (currently temporarily suspended).