Publisher Eva Bonnier and author David Lagercrantz are among the signatories of an open letter calling for the release of Gui Minhai, a bookseller imprisoned in China.
Gui, a Hong Kong-based Swedish citizen, was abducted in October 2015 from his Thai holiday home and detained after publishing books critical of the Chinese regime. After a brief release he was again seized by Chinese agents in January 2018 while travelling on a train to Beijing for a medical examination. He remains in custody, without access to either lawyers or consular assistance.
Published in the six largest newspapers in Sweden, an open letter signed by 30 publishers, writers and academics, is now calling for his immediate release.
The letter also criticises China’s ambassador to Sweden, Gui Congyou, for his response to journalists’ reporting of the disappearance. The ambassador has also threatened “counter-measures” after Swedish culture minister Amanda Lind attended a ceremony awarding Gui Minhai the Tucholsky Prize for persecuted writers.
The open letter, also signed by the bookseller’s daughter, states: “We demand that China’s ambassador Gui Congyou stop insulting and threatening persons who criticise China and who engage in the case of Gui Minhai. China: respect the human rights of Gui Minhai. China: release Gui Minhai so that he can return home.”
The campaign has been initiated by Swedish PEN, the Swedish Writers' Association, the Swedish Publishers' Association and the Swedish Union of Journalists.
The full letter has been published on the Swedish PEN website, where people can add their signature. The collected signatures will be handed over to the Chinese embassy in Stockholm at the end of the campaign.
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