Causeway Bay Bookstore owner release questioned

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called on the Chinese authorities to provide an update on publisher Gui Minhai, and clarify if he has been released from detention in recent weeks.According to several Hong Kong and foreign media reports on October 24, Gui Minhai, one of the missing Causeway Bay booksellers, was released from detention on October 17, 2017. According to AFP the Swedish Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Sofia Karlberg, confirmed that they have received information from Chinese authorities that Gui had been released, but did not provide details about his release.Gui’s daughter Angela has questioned these reports, telling the media that she did not know where her father was, and has not heard from her father since his alleged release. She also questioned reports that Gui was staying in China as his mother was ill, as she had not heard that her grandmother was ill.The Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström tweeted that she welcomed the news but that they were investigating for further clarification.The IFJ Asia Pacific Office said: “The detention of Gui Minhai directly contradicts the statements by President Xi that China is a country based on the rule of law. The detention of Gui Minhai for two years is a violation of his basic human rights. The Chinese authorities have a duty to clarify that whereabouts of Gui Minhai, and guarantee his fight to free movement, including his right to leave China.”Gui Minhai was the co-owner of Causeway Bay Bookstore, and was reported missing from Thailand in October 2015. Following his disappearance, a further four staff members, including the other co-owners, Lee Bo and Lui Bo, went missing from Mainland China and Hong Kong. The missing workers gave forced televised confessions, admitting they had been involved in ‘illegal’ activities and were staying in Mainland China freely. Lam Wing-kai, one of the workers, breached his probation order on his return to Hong Kong, revealing his was forced to admit his ‘wrongdoing’ in the confession, noting “I was forced to make a televised confession to Phoenix Television in March. I was instructed to repeat the prepared script… it was orchestrated by the authorities.” We demand the authorities to detail the whereabouts of Giu Minhai, and ensure his full rights to leave China.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebook: