The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly criticises the detention of Gui Minhai near Beijing on January 20, 2018. The IFJ demands the immediate release of Gui by authorities.
According to a New York Times report, Gui Minhai, the owner of Hong Kong-based Causeway Bay bookstore and publisher of Mighty Current Media, was travelling from Ningbo in Zhejiang province to Beijing with Swedish diplomats by train. As the train neared Beijing, 10 plain clothes officers boarded the train and detained without reason.
In the report, Gui’s daughter, Angela, said she had not received any information as to whether Gui and the diplomats resisted the detention, but she said on twitter that Gui was ‘free to travel’ following his release on October 17, 2017. Gui had served two years in prison in Ningbo for a traffic violation in 2003. Since his release Gui had stayed in Ningbo, although there were reports he wanted to move to Germany.
Gui, 53, is a Swedish-Chinese national, who disappeared in October 2015 from his holiday house in Thailand. In 2016 he appeared on television in China confessing to a traffic violation in 2003, which saw his imprisonment. Following his disappearance, four other people related to Causeway Bay bookstore disappeared in Hong Kong and on the Mainland.
According to several reports, the Swedish Foreign Ministry has said they are following Gui’s disappearance closely and had summoned the Chinese Ambassador to Sweden for more information. China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said they had “no understanding of the situation”
The IFJ Asia Pacific Office said: “The disappearance of Gui Minhai reiterates the serious safety and security concerns that the IFJ have raised for journalists and media workers in China. The Government of China continues to use whatever means possible to silence critical voices, often creating a culture of fear and intimidation in the process.”
The IFJ calls on the European Union and the United Nations to demand answers from the Chinese Government as to the whereabouts of Gui Minhai, and ensure his release.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries
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