PEN Hong Kong expresses its highest concern for the disappearance of Mr. Gui Minhai under the eyes of Swedish diplomats
Pen Hong Kong expresses its utmost concern about Gui Minhai, the Hong Kong-based bookseller with Swedish citizenship, who has been reportedly snatched away by 10 plainclothes policemen as he was traveling on a train bound for Beijing last Saturday. The incident happened in front of two Swedish diplomats who were traveling with him at the time. While there has been no confirmation from the Chinese authorities about Gui’s situation, his arrest has been confirmed by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
From our understanding, Gui Minhai has already completely served the sentence imposed on him for a traffic offence, and, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry he was released on October 17. As Gui has already completed his sentence, we call for his immediate release, and deplore what looks like an attempt at silencing him.
Gui Minhai was snatched away from his holiday house in Thailand in 2015, and reappeared months later in China, in a televised confession where he took responsibility for a hit-and-run car accident from 2003.
Pen Hong Kong is extremely worried by the actions reportedly taken by the Chinese authorities, which disregard all due process and respect for legal procedures. We are very concerned also by the news that the family of Gui Minhai has not been able to obtain any information on his whereabouts, nor arrange for him to have access to legal representation, in violation of national and international laws.
The disappearance of Gui Minhai happened as part of a concerted action against the booksellers and publishers linked to Causeway Bay Books, a bookshop, and the publishing house Mighty Current Media, both based in Hong Kong, which saw the disappearance of Lee Bo, who might have been kidnapped directly from Hong Kong, Lam Wing-kee, Cheung Chi-ping and Lui Por, who were detained during a trip to Shenzhen.
Pen Hong Kong calls on the Chinese authorities to provide a full account of what has taken place, and to grant Gui Minhai with immediate contact with his family and his legal and consular representative. We also call on the Chinese authorities to free Gui Minhai, and to allow him to travel freely if he so wishes.