20 February 2018
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  • » 01/24/2018, 14.06

    CHINA – SWEDEN

    Stockholm against Beijing, demands the release of book publisher Gui Minhai



    Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström issued the demand. China’s Foreign Ministry responded saying it did not know where the prisoner was, but suggested he broke the law. Party-controlled Global Times also cast doubts about him. Stockholm’s stance is something new. Human rights violations tend not to be reported and China cares little about international reactions.

    Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Sweden’s foreign minister has asked for the release one of its citizens, book publisher Gui Minhai, who was snatched by Chinese police on a trip to Beijing for a medical visit under the eyes of two Swedish diplomatic staff.

    “We expect the immediate release of our fellow citizen, and that he be given the opportunity to meet Swedish diplomatic and medical staff,” Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said in a statement.

    The latter comes a few hours after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that Ministry had no information of Gui’s whereabouts, and suggested that Swedish diplomats had breached the law.

    “China has always provided convenience and facilitation to officials at foreign embassies or consulates in accordance with international laws,” she explained. “At the same time, any foreigners in China, including officials at the foreign embassies or consulates in China, should not violate international law or Chinese law.”

    Curiously, Chinese Foreign Ministry later removed the questions and replies about Gui Minhai from its transcript of the Tuesday news briefing.

    In an editorial late on Tuesday, the English-language edition of state-run tabloid Global Times said that if Gui had been taken away there must have been a reason. “China is advancing the rule of law and it is incredible that a person can be taken away by police without reason,” the article read.

    Sweden’s stance is something new. Months ago, German ambassador Michael Clauss called for the release of the bishop of Wenzhou, Mgr Peter Shao Zhumin. But in general, the international community has long put up with China's violations of human rights.

    “These questions are no longer in the centre of [bilateral] relationships,” said Renmin University European studies specialist Wang Yiwei. More importantly, China cares little about how others respond.

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    See also

    23/01/2018 09:28:00 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Editor Gui Minhai 'kidnapped' once again by the police, in front of two Swedish diplomats

    Gui is one of five publishers-booksellers kidnapped by the Chinese police in 2015. He was released last October, after a videotaped "confession". He was going to the Swedish embassy, ​​perhaps to emigrate. But his relatives live in Ningbo (Zhejiang) and could be used as "hostages" to force him into silence.



    20/01/2016 12:53:00 CHINA – SWEDEN
    Swedish activist for human rights in China “confesses" on television after his arrest

    Peter Dahlin was arrested early in the new year. In his “confession” on state television he said he was involved in "instigat[ing] confrontations" and gathering information to produce "distorted" reports. He founded an NGO that helps human rights lawyers and provides legal aid to rural areas. In China, the situation of the rule of law is more and more critical, even for non-Chinese.



    18/01/2016 08:59:00 CHINA - HONG KONG
    China, one of five publishers disappeared "confessed" on TV. But does not add up

    Official media have launched intensive slash to one the missing bookseller Gui Minhai. Gui was accused driving death and fleeing to foreign countries. Lee Bo's new letter also accused Gui. Netizens suspect the report. 



    01/03/2016 14:09:00 CHINA - HONG KONG
    Missing publisher Lee Bo confesses on Hong Kong TV

    For the first time since he went missing, the founder of Causeway Bay Bookshop appeared on pro-Beijing Phoenix TV, saying that he went to mainland China of his own free will to cooperate in an investigation. Three company employees have already "confessed." Confession is becoming the weapon of choice to defame dissidents.



    11/01/2016 HONG KONG
    Thousands of Hong Kongers take to the streets against “cross-border abductions"
    At least 3,500 people marched to the Chinese government's liaison office to demand the release of five people critical of mainland China, who disappeared in late December. Growing suspicions points the finger at mainland authorities.



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