Swedish bookseller held under criminal law, says China

An activist has staged a demonstration outside the Foreign Ministry in Sweden protesting the country's "weak" response after Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai was seized from a Beijing-bound train while being escorted by two diplomats last month.

"The brutal intervention in January against a Swedish-support measure was implemented, despite Chinese repeated assurances that Gui Minhai was a free man at the time", Wallstrom added.

Ms Wallstrom's statement marks a tougher stance from Sweden two weeks after 10 Chinese security agents seized Mr Gui as he travelled to Beijing accompanied by two consular officials to seek medical treatment.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang (pic) attributed the arrest of Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai to the "violation of Chinese laws", without further explanation.

In a sharply worded statement Monday, Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom questioned the rule of law in China and characterized Gui's detention on January 20 on a Chinese train as "contrary to basic global rules on consular support". He staged a demonstration outside the Swedish Foreign Ministry in Stockholm on Tuesday, displaying a large banner that said: "Foreign Minister M. Wallstrom Practise What You Preach!".

"China will never accept the irresponsible remarks made by the Swedish side and we strongly require the Swedish side to refrain from doing the things that will undermine mutual respect and overall picture of the bilateral relations".


"This is a brazen and outrageous move by the Chinese authorities", Amnesty International China Researcher William Nee said. "There is a widespread fear that these violations of global laws, as well as (China's) refusal to allow consular assistance, could happen to other European Union citizens in the future", Germany's ambassador to China, Michael Clauss, told German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Swedish daily Expressen.

U.S. state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert and European Union ambassador Hans Dietmar Schweisgut have also called on China to immediately release Mr Gui.

He was one of five people to have gone missing that year from a Hong Kong bookstore and an affiliated publishing company, which specialises in publications critical of China's ruling Communist Party leaders. He eventually surfaced at an undisclosed location in China, confessing to involvement in a fatal traffic accident and smuggling illegal books into the mainland.

Sweden has demanded that Gui, who is a dual Chinese and Swedish citizen, be released and given the opportunity to meet Swedish diplomats and medical staff.

His daughter Angela Gui, 23, said she feared he would be put on trial and receive a longer sentence, jeopardising his health.

"If he does have ALS, perhaps he might not have that much time left", she told AFP.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Saudi Arabia grants India approval for flights to Israel
The new route means that the airline would reduce fuel costs and sell cheaper tickets to passengers. This is the first time that Riyadh has authorized a direct flight route to Israel via its airspace.

National Football League linebacker killed by suspected drunk driver on highway
Orrego-Savala is a Guatemalan citizen who's in the US illegally. "It's an insult to those who do it the right way". He was signed by the Arizona Cardinals in May 2015 and released by the team about three months later.

Housebuilder Redrow's revenues and profits rise to record
Earnings per share (EPS) were up 27% to 39.5p and the interim dividend was boosted to 9p per share (2017: 6p). Operating margins rose slightly to 19.7 per cent, while return on capital employed rose to 25 per cent .

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah reveals talks with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho
Salah previously netted twice in the Premier League during a forgettable spell at Chelsea . And, speaking before the game, Mourinho praised his old player for the impact he had made.

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) Buckles Under The Trend Lines
The stock of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV ( NYSE : BUD ) has "Overweight" rating given on Wednesday, October 5 by Morgan Stanley. The stock of Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) has "Outperform" rating given on Friday, August 25 by Wedbush.

Other news