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Detained bookseller Gui Minhai slams Sweden for “hyping up case” for political reasons

(People's Daily Online)    15:27, February 11, 2018

[File Photo]

Gui Minhai, a Swedish national and Hong Kong bookseller, on Friday accused Swedish authorities of hyping up his case for political reasons after he was detained again in China for suspected involvement of illegally exporting national secrets.

“I have lived as a prisoner before. To a large extent, I should blame you and the Swedish government for this,” said Gui in a letter sent to Sweden’s ambassador to China on Jan. 27, a few days after his detention. Gui also noted that he has been used by Swedish authorities as a “pawn.”

Three months after Gui completed a two-year term for killing a person while driving drunk more than a decade ago, he was taken to Beijing from Shanghai by two Swedish diplomats on Jan. 20, despite the fact that Chinese law requires him not to leave the country until a case related to his illegal business operation is officially closed.

According to Xinhua News Agency, though Chinese police contacted Gui and demanded his return, the Swedish diplomats encouraged him to refuse cooperation, alluring him with the promise of treating his so-called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which turned out to be simple muscle atrophy in his hands.

“They told me I was just one step away from success. As long as I take the step, I will succeed in returning to Sweden. Helping me treat my illness was just an excuse. I have lost all trust in the Swedish government,” said Gui.

Gui's letter to the Swedish ambassador to China. [Xinhua]

Following Gui’s second detention, Western governments and media outlets have been blasting China for its judicial decision, doubting groundlessly that Gui’s statement was made under “duress.”

In response to such claims, Gui expressed hope to “handle his own issues on his own,” warning that he may consider giving up his Swedish nationality if Sweden continues to interfere in his case.

Chinese government and media outlets have also backed Gui’s position, with Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recently criticizing remarks and behaviors that ignore “China’s judicial sovereignty.”

Chinese newspaper Global Times also bombarded Sweden for its “saving mission,” noting that Gui’s case was hyped by Western media and the Swedish foreign ministry seems to want to demonstrate its diplomatic heroism by “saving the bookseller.”

Other media outlets have also accused Swedish authorities of tricking Gui to break Chinese laws, noting that what they had offered Gui was far beyond the scope of consular support.

According to Xinhua, Chinese authorities have been informing its Swedish counterparts about Gui’s recent condition, without hiding or denying the latter’s access to the process of the case.

As of press time, Gui is still in detention, as he took with him lots of materials concerning state secrets and is suspected of illegally providing state secrets and intelligence overseas and endangering state security, according to Chinese police.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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