RSF urges democracies to increase pressure on China for the release of Swedish publisher kidnapped 7 years ago
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on democracies to increase pressure to obtain the release of Swedish publisher Gui Minhai, kidnapped 7 years ago in Thailand and later sentenced by the Chinese regime to ten years in prison for “intelligence” with foreign countries.
“By not acting strongly enough for Gui Minhai, the international community has allowed the Chinese regime to assume the right to kidnap people anywhere in the world, deny their right to consular protection, and arbitrarily detain them with total impunity,” said Reporters Without Borders (RSF) East Asia Bureau Head Cédric Alviani.
“We call on democracies, especially the Swedish government, the EU member states, and the European Commission, to increase pressure on China and do everything in their power so the detained publisher is finally released,” said the president of RSF Sweden, Erik Halkjaer.
“The imprisonment of my father, which is illegal even according to the Chinese law, should terrify us all,” said Gui’s daughter, Angela Gui, who hasn’t heard from her father over the past four years. “Holding China accountable for its crimes requires matching words with actions,” she added.
The last detained of the “five Hong-Kong publishers”
Monday 17 October 2022 will mark seven years since Gui Minhai, a Chinese-born Swedish book publisher, was kidnapped by the Chinese regime while on vacation in Thailand, only to later resurface on Chinese state TV delivering a forced confession. Gui, the co-founder of a Hong Kong-based publishing house that specialised in investigative stories on the private lives of Chinese leaders, was abducted alongside four of his collaborators in October 2015, but is the only of them still being detained.
In 2017, Gui was allegedly “released” from detention, but in fact remained under residential surveillance. In 2018, he was again seized by the police on a Beijing-bound train while accompanied by two Swedish diplomats, an incident after which he was apparently made to publicly renounce his Swedish citizenship. Two years later, the Chinese regime announced that he had been sentenced to ten years in prison for "illegally providing intelligence overseas."
RSF repeatedly called for Gui’s release and submitted his case to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. On 15 November 2019 Gui Minhai was awarded the Tucholsky Prize by the Swedish PEN, an association defending freedom of speech.
China ranked 175th out of 180 in the 2022 RSF World Press Freedom Index, and is the world's largest captor of journalists with at least 115 detained, including 13 in Hong Kong.