Gui Minhai has been detained for:

Gui Minhai

This site is dedicated to raising awareness of the case of the Swedish publisher Gui Minhai, scholar and co-owner of Causeway Bay Bookstore, Hong Kong.

Gui Minhai was last seen on October 17, 2015, when he left his holiday apartment in Pattaya, Thailand. Since then he has been in detention in mainland China without legal assistance or consular access. Chinese authorities admitted to having detained Gui in January 2016, after state-controlled TV channel CCTV aired a forced confession video of him saying he had caused a traffic accident in 2003, and that he had returned to China voluntarily to turn himself in. Other than this, no information on his status or whereabouts has been given to his family nor to Swedish authorities.

In October-December 2015 four of Gui Minhai’s colleagues were abducted. Although all evidence points to his four colleagues being under strict surveillance, Gui is the only one of the five that remains in illegal detention on the Chinese mainland.

Timeline of events
8 February 2018

Third forced confession – 8 February 2018

Gui appeared in various media, giving a staged ‘interview’. He claimed to have been ‘used as a political chess piece’ by Swedish diplomats.

20 January 2018

Train abduction – 20 January 2018

In November 2017 Gui had sought medical care in Ningbo after having developed some neurological symptoms while in detention. He had been told to seek a second opinion by foreign specialists, so the Swedish embassy in Beijing had arranged for Gui to travel there by train to be examined by a Swedish doctor. Gui was travelling accompanied by two senior Swedish diplomats when the journey was intercepted and a group of ten plainclothes police seized him and carried him off the train. Chinese officials claimed that Gui was now under investigation for illegal business operations, trafficking in state secrets, and ‘illegally spending time with foreign diplomats’. There has been no trial date and no detention notice.

23 October, 2017

Residential surveillance

Gui phoned his daughter Angela claiming he was now free and had chosen to remain in China for the foreseeable future. He said he had rented an apartment in Ningbo (Zhejiang province) and was able to see his family there. Over the next three months, Gui was in frequent contact with his daughter. From these conversations it emerged that he was not in fact ‘free’, but held in a type of residential surveillance, unable to leave China.

17 October, 2017

’Release’ from detention

Swedish diplomats were told that Gui was to be released after having served two years for the alleged traffic incident (despite no trial having taken place). However when senior diplomats went to assist him upon his release they were told Gui had already left.

27 September, 2016

Second consular visit

Swedish consular officials are allowed to meet with Gui again.  He still claims not to want any help.

June 18, 2016

Lam leads a demonstration

Lam leads a demonstration of six thousand people from Causeway Bay to Beijing’s liaison office.
June 16, 2016

Lam Wing-kee holds a press conference

Lam Wing-kee holds a press conference where he tells the media of his abduction from Shenzhen on October 24.  Lam says he was blindfolded and put on a train to Ningbo where he was held in solitary confinement.  He also reveals that his appearance on TV was staged and that he was given a script to read from.
June 13, 2016

Lam returns to Hong Kong

Lam returns to Hong Kong and cancels his missing person’s report with the police, making Gui the only one of the five booksellers that has not yet been “released”.
June 6, 2016

Third call from Gui

Gui calls his daughter again.  This time he tells her he is being treated well and asks detailed questions about the congressional hearing.
May 24, 2016

Angela Gui testifies at a US congressional hearing in Washington DC

Angela Gui testifies at a US congressional hearing in Washington DC.  She wakes up to four missed calls from Gui Minhai on Skype.
April 8, 2016

Gui phones Angela again

Gui phones Angela again, telling her again not to give any interviews.
March 25, 2016

Gui phones his daughter Angela

Gui phones his daughter Angela, speaking English.  He says he is not allowed to speak Swedish, but tells Angela he has committed crimes and will have to stay in China to sort out his “complicated situation”.  He also tells her not to give any further interviews or ask for any help from authorities, as this will make matters worse for him.
March 24, 2016

Lee returns to Hong Kong and denies that he was kidnapped

Lee returns to Hong Kong and denies that he was kidnapped.  He also said that he would never publish “banned books” again, and that during his time in mainland China, he was impressed by its economic prosperity.
March 6, 2016

Cheung returns to Hong Kong

Like Lui, Cheung returns to Hong Kong, tells police to drop his case, and then travels back to the mainland.
March 4, 2016

Lui returns to Hong Kong

Lui returns to Hong Kong and tells the police to drop the case on his disappearance, and then travels back to mainland China.
February 29, 2016

Phoenix TV airs an “interview” with Lee Bo

Phoenix TV airs an “interview” with Lee Bo in which he claims to have sneaked into the mainland to assist with an investigation into Gui Minhai. (English subtitles)
February 28, 2016

Appearance on Phoenix TV

Lui por, Cheung Chi-ping, and Lam Wing-kee appear on Hong Kong channel Phoenix TV admitting to distributing unlicensed books to the mainland.
February 24, 2016

Swedish consular officials meet with Gui

Swedish consular officials are allowed to meet with Gui for the first time since his disappearance from Pattaya.  Gui tells them he returned on his own, and that he does not want any help from Sweden, after which he gets up to leave.  The Swedish embassy repeatedly requests further consular visits but these are denied with reference to Gui supposedly not wanting any help.
February 4, 2016

Guangdong police confirms custody of three men

Guangdong police confirms Lui Por, Cheung Chi-ping, and Lam Wing-kee are in custody and are being investigated in mainland China.  They also tell Hong Kong police that Lee Bo does not want to speak to them.
January 24, 2016

Leaked document reveals targeting of Mighty Current

Sunday Times reports that a leaked internal Chinese Communist Party document lists 14 Hong Kong publishing houses to be “exterminated”, where Mighty Current is mentioned.
January 18, 2016

No record of Gui exiting Thailand

The South China Morning Post reports that there is no record of Gui leaving Thailand.
January 17, 2016

Gui appears on Chinese state television

Gui appears on Chinese state television channel CCTV news, saying he voluntarily returned to China and turned himself in for absconding the conditions of a sentence for a drunk-driving incident in 2003.  He says he does not want any outside help, as he “feels Chinese despite his Swedish citizenship”.  After this, Lee Bo’s wife receives a letter from Lee Bo in which he calls Gui a “morally unacceptable person” with a “complicated history”. Hours after the forced confession is aired, Gui messages his daughter on Skype: “Hi,Angela, I am ok, Pls don't worry for me. I have returned China by myself for solving some personal problems. If anybody ask about me, pls, keep silence, which is important for me.”
January 3, 2016

No record of Lee leaving Hong Kong

Hong Kong police say there is no record of Lee leaving the city.  Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying says it would be unacceptable and a violation of the Basic Law and the “one country, two systems” arrangement if mainland authorities had made an arrest in Hong Kong.
January 1, 2016

Lee’s wife reports him as missing

Lee’s wife reports him as missing after she receives a phone call in Mandarin (they usually communicate in Cantonese).
December 30, 2015

Lee Bo is last seen

Lee Bo, co-owner of Mighty Current and Causeway Bay Books is last seen in Mighty Current’s Chai Wan warehouse.
November 4, 2015

Visit by four men

Four men visit Gui’s Pattaya apartment after a phone call to the condo staff in which Gui gives permission for his ‘friends’ to enter and stay overnight.  They use the computer and attempt to take it away.
November 13, 2015

Skype with Angela (daughter)

Two weeks after Gui goes missing, he messages his daughter Angela on Skype saying he has transferred money to her Hong Kong bank account, and ‘I hope you will be fine with everything’.
October 20-26, 2015

More people missing

Lui Bo, general manager of Mighty Current, business manager Cheung Ji-ping and bookstore manager Lam Wing-kee, go missing after separately visiting Shenzhen.

The abduction

Gui last seen leaving his holiday home in Pattaya, Thailand with an unknown man who had been waiting at the gate for him to return.

A few days later the condo staff receive a phone call in which Gui said he was okay and that he was gambling in Cambodia.

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