Facts & Links
* Gui Minhai, Swedish citizen (only), writer, poet, Hong Kong-based publisher and bookseller, was kidnapped on 17 October 2015 from his vacation apartment in Thailand, and forcibly taken to China by a group of Chinese agents.
* On 17 January 2016, three full months after his abduction, he suddenly appeared on Chinese TV in a coerced, scripted presentation. This was the first of two such occasions during 2016 when he was forced to appear on Chinese state TV to present coerced statements (followed by a 3rd, in 2018) — in violation of international law, as well as Chinese law. Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström rejected it as “unacceptable.” Gui was forced to say he had returned to China on his own volition, because of an old traffic incident (which had already been resolved at the time; see below). He was then held in extralegal detention in an undisclosed location, later revealed as Ningbo, his home town.
* During late 2015 and early 2016, four of Gui’s HK bookstore colleagues were also detained. Three (Lui Por, Cheung Chi-ping, Lee Bo) were let go and have remained silent after being forced to “confess” to unlawful book selling to China, on the Hong Kong TV channel Phoenix on Feb. 28, 2016 (alongside Lam Wing-kee and Gui Minhai –his second time; Lee Bo was paraded separately on Phoenix, Feb. 29).
* Then, in June 2016, sensationally, Lam Wing-kee managed to flee his detention, bravely speaking out in a dramatic Hong Kong press conference and in later writings, on his kidnapping, detention, and how the forced “confessions” are scripted & coerced (find various reports below on Lam Wing-kee, including under ‘highlights’).
* On 24 November 2016, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the case of Gui Minhai, expressing grave concern for him and over other forced disappearances.
* Then, after a long wait, in late October 2017, the Chinese government told Swedish authorities Gui had been “released,” but it emerged he was still in house-arrest — a frequent Chinese method for punishing dissidents who have been “freed.” He was allowed certain contacts with family. While in detention, Gui is said to have developed a serious medical condition.
* Jan. 20, 2018: Sweden’s government, having been told Gui was now “free,” arranged for him to travel to the Swedish Embassy to get medical attention, in the company of two Swedish diplomats. Even so, Gui was suddenly seized and hauled off their train, by 10 Chinese men in civilian clothes, claiming to be police officers. Gui’s whereabouts again remained unknown, for two weeks.
* Next, after 2 weeks the Chinese regime acknowledged it was they who had seized Gui, and doubled down by attacking Sweden for standing up for its citizen; as well as suddenly accusing Gui of espionage while in their own custody (!), causing consternation among the Swedish public.
* Feb. 9, 2018: the Chinese authorities paraded Gui on TV again, for a third time, forcing him to make yet another fake statement suggesting he had been tricked into the train journey–by Sweden. Certain complicit media (such as the formerly independent South China Morning Post), as well as some ignorant international media, reported this staged “interview” as his own words.
* Feb. 15: the European Union reiterated grave concern over Gui, an EU national, through its High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini. Sweden too protested.
* March 8: Sweden’s foreign ministry again protested that China once again had reneged on a promise Gui Minhai could see a doctor sent from Sweden. Then, the Chinese regime claimed Gui “did not want” the doctor: As a result, Gui continued to be imprisoned in China, and denied consular contact and medical help.
* May 18: Foreign Minister Margot Wallstr.m reiterated Sweden’s demand for Gui Minhai’s freedom, in a statement in in Sweden’s Parliament.
* May 30: the Foreign Affairs Committee of Sweden’s Parliament, in a special report on human rights in Sweden’s foreign policy, formally demanded freedom for Gui Minhai.
* June 5: On Sweden’s national day, an appeal for Gui’s freedom from 45 Swedish public and cultural figures and China experts was carried in 37 newspapers, rejecting the fake spectacles, asking China to act according to its stature in the world, and free Gui Minhai.
* June 9: Swedish radio interviews the Chinese ambassador to Sweden who doubled down, even warning to Sweden to stop insisting on human rights. Afterwards, the embassy posted a website note claiming China still does respect international law(!) and that Gui would be allowed “a consular visit” (single!?). The embassy went on to initiate a smearing campaign against Gui Minhai, targeting individual Swedes through email and more; and, starting on 2 July, to attack the Swedish media for writing about censorship and the worsening situation for the foreign press in China.
* June 27: The European Union formally repeats its demand for China to set Gui Minhai free, in the United Nations Human Rights Council session 38, at Geneva; and once more in Beijing, in the EUChina human rights dialogue, ca. 10 July 2018.
* July 2: Foreign Minister Margot Wallstr.m confirmed to Swedish press that no visits have been allowed and we have no information on Gui Minhai’s health.
* July 13: Marking 1000 days since Gui’s kidnapping, protest rally is held at Chinese embassy in Stockholm, sponsored by Sweden’s Publishers’ assn. and by Sweden’s Writers’ assn.
* July 19: the Chinese embassy (in an Expressen interview prompted by the embassy’s attacks on the paper) announced it is preparing a visa for a new Swedish doctor.
* July 2018: The Chinese embassy in Stockholm continues series of attacks on Swedish media (TT, Expressen, Dagens Nyheter, 8 Sidor, etc.), and launches a new smearing campaign against Gui; also carries on with an influencing and manipulation campaign targeting private Swedish citizens who spoke out for Gui Minhai. On July 25, several Swedish public figures calls on Foreign Ministry to reprimand the embassy for undiplomatic activity, incl. potentially illegal defamation. The Ministry merely affirmed it told the embassy that journalists’ rights are constitutionally protected in Sweden.
* July 29, 2018: The Washington Post publishes two new poems by Gui Minhai, written in detention.
* Aug. 13: the Swedish foreign ministry confirms that China’s government now finally has permitted a Swedish doctor’s visit (which it brutally aborted in January 2018).
* Aug. 21,: An invitation issued publicly to Gui Minhai, to attend Sweden’s biggest book fair in Gothenburg in September, jointly by the fair’s executive, by the leadership of Sweden’s publishers’ association, by the IPA, and by Swedish PEN, — plus also appealing to Chinese authorities to let Gui attend; this was met with renewed scorn from the Chinese embassy.
* Sept. 2: The ‘sofagate’ tourist incident in Stockholm with Chinese tourists evicted from a hotel; picked up 2 weeks later for use by the Chinese embassy and in Chinese state media, to whip up a campaign of distraction; to deflect attention from Gui Minhai’s continued imprisonment by demanding apologies and trying to use ‘human rights’ as an issue against Sweden. (In these efforts, they got unexpected help from an shockingly ignorant and racist Swedish television ‘humor’ program which mocked Chinese tourists instead of the Chinese regime, and helped generated ever more distraction, in international and social media, including in China).
* Sept. 27-30: Gothenburg Book Fair holds special event for Gui Minhai, with an empty chair to highlight his enforced absence. Launch of new book on Gui Minhai’s case, by Jojje Olsson and supported by Norstedts publishing house, Sweden’s publishers’ association, the IPA, and more. Still no news about Gui Minhai’s medical situation, or about his imprisonment.
* Oct. 12: Frankfurt Book Fair to hold special event for Gui Minhai. –See below.
* Oct. 17: Another rally for Gui Minhai held outside of China’s embassy in Stockholm, supported by Sweden’s Publishers’ association, Journalists’ assn, Writers’ assn., and Swedish PEN, marking 3 years of Gui’s kidnapping and imprisonment.
* Oct. 31: Angela Gui interviewed by the Freedom to Publish Seminar at the Frankfurt Book Fair. https://www.internationalpublishers.org/freedom-to-publish/freedom-to-publish-news/737-angelagui- being-an-accidental-activist
* Nov. 6: China’s human rights situation questioned at the UN in Gen.ve, under the Universal Periodic Review of human rights, Third Cycle, begun in 2017. Multiple questions raised in advance, including about Gui Minhai (though not by Sweden).
* Nov. 15: Imprisoned Authors’ Day in Gothenburg, focus on Gui Minhai and Kina. Hosted by the Gothenburg chapter of Swedish PEN and G.teborgs Litteraturhus.
* Nov. 23: London press conference with Peter Humphrey, a Briton who was forced to make a TV confession similar to that of Gui Minhai, and has now submitted a complaint against China Central Television/China Global Television, for violating British broadcasting rules.)
* Nov. 25: News reports suggest Sweden’s King cancelled a trip to China, over Gui Minhai’s case.
* Dec. 2, 2018. A prison poem by Gui Minhai, “Lucia,” published in Swedish translation, in Expressen
* (?? When? will Gui Minhai be released & allowed to return to Sweden in good health? )
China thinks it can arbitrarily detain anyone. It is time for change: The lack of global outcry over the detention of two Canadians virtually guarantees the next such case. Michael Caster. The Guardian, Fri 4 Jan 2019 02.02 GMT Last modified on Fri 4 Jan 2019 02.35 GMT
Be careful: China renews travel warning to Sweden in toilet scandal aftermath Sputnik, December 26, 2018. https://nation.com.pk/26-Dec-2018/be-careful-china-renewstravel-warning-to-sweden-in-toilet-scandal-aftermath
Three years on from Causeway Bay booksellers’ disappearances, mainland Chinese traders of banned books say the business is like selling ‘cocaine at the price of cabbage.’ By Su Xinqi, South China Morning Post, 27 December 2018.
China renews warning against travelling to Sweden amid ongoing diplomatic row. By Shi Jiangtao, Keegan Elmer. SCMP, 23 December 2018, 9:16pm; UPDATED: Monday, 24 December 2018, 5:50am. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/2179301/china-renewswarning-against-travelling-sweden-amid-ongoing
(More proof this Alibaba-owned paper really is just a propaganda mouthpiece for Chinese govt.)
Detained Canadian in China also a Hungarian national — and now the EU may step in: Reuters. By Ben Blanchard, Reuters. Global News, December 20, 2018 8:01 am.
The ‘forgotten’ Canadians detained in China. By Perrin Grauer, StarMetro Vancouver; Joanna Chiu, StarMetro Vancouver. Dec. 20, 2018.
‘Hundreds’ of Canadians held by China raises the stakes for Trudeau’s government. By Tonda MacCharles, Ottawa Bureau, The Star. Thu., Dec. 20, 2018.
Further revelations about CCTV’s use of Forced TV Confessions. RSDL Monitor, 2018-12-18
Again, China debases the rule of law. This time, President Trump chimes right in. By Fred Hiatt, Editorial page editor. Washington Post, December 16, 2018, at 7:08 PM
(See also:【阿海文集】全部文章 , http://blog.boxun.com/hero/ahwj (Last updated 2009); and: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gui_Minhai
“China is trying to muzzle Gui Minhai. These poems tell his story.” Washington Post. Fred Hiatt, Editorial-Opinion. July 29, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/globalopinions/china-is-trying-to-muzzle-gui-minhai-these-poems-tell-hisstory/2018/07/29/c75b18dc-91bc-11e8-b769-e3fff17f0689_story.html
(With 2 poems by Gui Minhai newly written in prison)
二十世纪西方文化史掠影 . By Ahai阿海, 1964-. Beijing: Beijing shifan xueyuan chubanshe北京师范学院出版社, 1991.
Feudalism in Chinese Marxist Historiography. Copenhagen, Denmark: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), 1992. By Minhai Gui. (I have a PDF copy, can send. MF)
日耳曼文明之源: 北欧神话 / Ri’erman wenming zhi yuan: Bei-Ou shenhua. By桂敏海, Minhai Gui. Shenyang: Liaoning daxue chubanshe辽宁大学出版社 , 1996.
高天原浮世绘: 日本神话 / Gaotian Yuan fushihui: Riben shenhua. Co-authors:刘毅, (神话) 刘毅著. 赵秀敏, 桂敏海; Yi Liu, (shen hua); Xiumin Zhao, (wen hua shi); Minhai Gui, (li shi). Shenyang: Liaoning daxue chubanshe辽宁大学出版社 , 1996. Series: Shijie wenhuashi zhi shi = The best in world civilization, 5.
雍正十年: 那条瑞典船的故事 / Yongzheng shi nian: na tiao Ruidian chuan de gushi = The stories around the Swedish ship. By Ahai阿海, 1964-. Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe中国社会科学出版社, 2006.
解碼哥德堡號. 1,真相與謊言 / Jiema Gedebao hao. 1, Zhenxiang yu huangyan Author: Ruihai Zhong鍾瑞海 [= Ahai?]. Hong Kong: Kaiyi chubanshe開益出版社, 2006. [Unclear but sometimes listed as Ahai’s work]
我愛中國的豬頭肉: 阿海隨筆 / Wo ai Zhongguo de zhutourou: Ahai sui bi [I love Chinese pighead meat: Essays by Ahai]. By Ahai阿海. 文化藝術出版社 , Hong Kong: Wenhua yishu chubanshe, 2007.
废物再利用: 环保手工 / Feiwu zai liyong: huanbao shougong [Garbage and recycling: Craftsmen of environmental protection]. By Ahai阿海. Ha’erbin: Heilongjiang meishu chubanshe黑龙江美术出版社, 2007.
我把黑森林留给你：阿海随笔（ 2007） http://blog.boxun.com/hero/2006/ahwj/18_1.shtml
女儿国与走婚: 来自一个另类世界的故事 / Nüerguo yu zouhun: laizi yige linglei shijie de gushi = Female kingdom & visiting marriage: stories about another kind of culture. By Ahai阿海. Beijing: Jiuzhou chubanshe九州出版社, 2014.
+ many poems, essays, and more. Some are at the website “Ahai: Collected writings”【阿海文集】全部文章 , http://blog.boxun.com/hero/ahwj (Last updated 2009, compiled by the Independent Chinese PEN organization)
+ see: Gui Minhai. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Last modified 17 December 2016.