Swedish fury over arrested bookseller Gui Minhai

Kong demanded freedom for detained booksellers including Gui Minhai

Kong demanded freedom for detained booksellers including Gui Minhai

The Swedish citizen was one of five Hong Kong-based booksellers who hit the headlines when they disappeared in late 2015. The books the group sold at their Causeway Bay Bookshop were popular with visitors from mainland China, where such titles were banned. His daughter said she did not have details of what happened, and did not know whether he or the diplomats resisted.

Gui was traveling to Beijing by train for a medical exam after showing symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with two Swedish diplomats on Saturday, January 20, when he was seized by plainclothes police and forcibly removed from the train. Gui went missing in Pattaya with no record of departure, only to re-emerge on Chinese state television months later "confessing" to a drunk-driving accident that took place over a decade ago.

She leads a campaign from the United Kingdom to free her father and told Radio Sweden that her father had been travelling to see a Swedish doctor as he was showing symptoms of the neurological disease ALS.

Angela Gui. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

Sweden's foreign ministry said Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom had summoned China's ambassador over the issue. He added that the ministry was taking the matter very seriously. "China's reported claims that it believes Gui has been sharing "secret information" with Swedish diplomats is laughable-the only information that Gui would have to share would be on his own mistreatment at the hands of Chinese security forces. Firm actions have been taken at a high political level and we have been in contact with Chinese officials who have promised us immediate information about his condition", the official, Patric Nilsson, said.

Writers' association PEN America condemned Gui's detention as "an outrageous violation of the rule of law, human rights, and free expression".

When asked whether Gui had violated any law in China or whether he was allowed access to Swedish embassy officials, Hua said: "China has always provided convenience and facilitation to officials at foreign embassies or consulates in accordance with worldwide laws, including the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and Chinese law".

Gui was taken away on Saturday by plainclothes police, Angela Gui told Radio Sweden, adding she is concerned for the safety of her father who was released from Chinese custody in October. "The entire global community should condemn this outrageous act".

He had arranged the visit with the Swedish Embassy and had been on the train for about five hours when 10 police officers got on at a stop outside of Beijing. "Regardless of the difficulties, the Chinese side has to release him sooner or later, because his wish is clear", Bei said.

The former British colony of Hong Kong, however, is supposed to have distinct legal autonomy under the terms of its handover to China in 1997.

While his colleagues were released a few months later, Gui was held until October past year.

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