01/26/2016, 10.18
CHINA
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Swedish activist Peter Dahlin released and deported from China

Peter Dahlin was in jail since 4 January on charges of "damaging national security". The NGO he founded provides assistance of various kinds to Chinese lawyers who intend to work in rural areas of the country. Stockholm is "very concerned" about the fate of another of its nationals in Chinese prisons, Hong Kong editor Gui Minhai.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A Swedish activist detained in China on charges of damaging national security has been released and deported. Peter Dahlin, 35, had been held since early January amid a crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists.

Last week he appeared on state media apparently confessing to breaking the law through his organisation's support of local Chinese rights lawyers. The Swedish embassy confirmed he had left China but gave no further details. Its foreign minister welcomed Mr Dahlin's release, but expressed concern about another Swede in Chinese detention.

The group in question, the Chinese Urgent Action Working Group (China Action), offers direct legal aid to people alleging human rights violations, and assistance to uncertified lawyers to provide legal aid in rural areas. Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said she remained "greatly concerned" about the status of detained Swedish national Gui Minhai.

Mr Gui is one of five people linked to a Hong Kong publishing house to disappear in recent months. He vanished while on holiday from Hong Kong in Thailand in October last year. He had also appeared on Chinese TV earlier this month, saying he had voluntarily handed himself over to the authorities over a drink-driving fatality years ago.

The case has sparked protests in Hong Kong from those who believe they were kidnapped by China and are being held because of allegations in a book they were working on, critical of the mainland.

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