Daughter of imprisoned Swedish bookseller lambasts China

Gui Minhai sentenced to 10 years in Chinese prison despite Swedish citizenship

Angela Gui calls for release of her father. (Twitter, Angela Gui photo)

Angela Gui calls for release of her father. (Twitter, Angela Gui photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The daughter of Swedish bookseller Gui Minhai, Angela Gui, said China is stripping away human rights regardless of nationality after her father was sentenced 10 years in prison on Feb. 25.

In an article published by The Washington Post on Wednesday (March 4), Gui called for Sweden to act to secure the release of her father. In 2015, Gui Minhai was kidnapped in Thailand by Chinese agents for publishing books in Hong Kong that were banned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

After the bookseller was released in 2017 and put under residential surveillance, the Chinese police arrested him again on a train to Beijing in early 2018 when he was accompanied by two Swedish diplomats. The Chinese authorities charged him for "illegally providing intelligence overseas" and sentenced him to 10 years last month.

According to Angela Gui, the CCP claimed her father had renounced his Swedish citizenship and applied to regain Chinese nationality in 2018, so China gained total jurisdiction. However, the Swedish Foreign Ministry has confirmed that it received no such request for renunciation.

"The bizarre claim that my father is no longer a Swedish citizen because China unilaterally decided so suggests that we are all potentially one critical statement away from being forcibly brought to China and sentenced for crimes we didn’t commit," Gui said.

Gui Minhai's former colleague and owner of Hong Kong's Causeway Bay Books, Lam Wing-kee (林榮基), fled to Taiwan the Hong Kong authorities tried to pass an extradition bill in 2019. He was also detained in China for 8 months in 2015 and forced to plead guilty to the charge of selling forbidden books.

"When the CCP says you are guilty, you are. No other reasons are needed to put you in jail," Lam said.

Updated : 2021-01-21 14:29 GMT+08:00