Daughter of missing HK bookseller makes plea for US assistance

Daughter of missing HK bookseller makes plea for US assistance

The daughter of missing Hong Kong publisher Gui Minhai has called for the US to help secure his release.

Angela Gui, whose father is believed to have been held in Chinese custody for eight months without trial, appeared yesterday (24th May) before a US congressional commission in Washington, where she urged the US to apply pressure on the Chinese government.

Swedish citizen Gui is one of five publishers who worked at the Mighty Current publishing house in Hong Kong, known for producing salacious political tomes about mainland politicians, who went missing last year.

 TIME magazine reported Gui said: “The US, Sweden, and other countries … need to work to make sure that Chinese authorities are not allowed to carry out illegal operations on foreign soil.”

Despite a staged televised tearful "confession" from Gui last year saying he had turned himself in to authorities over a hit-and-run incident, it's widely thought the publisher was illegally abducted.

Angela Gui, who hadn't seen or heard from her father until his TV appearance questioned the "clearly staged" confession, in which he said he travelled to China voluntarily, particularly since there is no record Gui having ever left Thailand, where he disappeared from his holiday home in November 2015. 

Gui's daughter said the situation and lack of information as to his legal status was "especially shocking" because her father is a Swedish passport holder.

Despite having "been told to stay quiet", Angela Gui said she would not be silenced, saying: "I’m convinced my father would have done this for me, were I the one abducted and illegitimately detained."

The situation has been even more contentious internationally for violating conditions on which Great Britain relinquished control of Hong Kong in 1997, based on the principle of "one country, two systems". Tim Godfray, chief executive of The Booksellers Association (BA), wrote to the foreign secretary earlier this year to raise his "gravest concerns" over the issue, also affecting British citizen and missing bookseller Lee Bo, and asked that the government "thoroughly investigates all the facts". Lee Bo has since returned to Hong Kong.

Author and publishers around the world, through a spokesperson for The European and International Booksellers Federation, also said in January: "We also urge the United States government to investigate the circumstances of these disappearances and to assist in the release of the men."