China's 'ludicrous' claims for Swedish bookseller detention condemned

Responding to the Chinese authorities’ admission today that Gui Minhai, a bookseller with Swedish nationality, is again being detained and faces criminal charges, William Nee, Amnesty International’s China Researcher, said:

“This is a brazen and outrageous move by the Chinese authorities. They have yet to provide adequate explanation as to why they took Gui Minhai away while he was travelling with Swedish diplomats.

“Gui Minhai must be released. He and his family have suffered enough.

“It is ludicrous for the Chinese government to lecture others about respect, when they have shown utter contempt for fair trials and other human rights.

“It is crucial that while Gui Minhai remains in detention he receives adequate health care as necessary or requested, is granted consular access, and can meet lawyers of his own choosing.

“The Chinese government cannot simply sidestep international law because they arbitrarily deem a case to be ‘serious’.”

Gui Minhai health fears

Gui Minhai was taken away on 20 January by approximately 10 plainclothes officers while travelling by train to Beijing in the company of two Swedish diplomats. He was travelling to the capital to seek a diagnosis for what is feared to be motor neurone disease.

Gui Minhai, a Hong Kong bookseller with Swedish nationality, initially went missing in Thailand in 2015, and later appeared in Chinese custody. He was held for more than two years before the authorities claimed to have released him in October last year. Despite his apparent release, Gui Minhai appears to have been under tight police surveillance, with his freedom of movement curtailed.

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