Today June 6, is Sweden’s national day. On this occasion, 45 public figures from publishing, media, politics and culture, including myself, co-signed an appeal for the freedom of Gui Minhai, the Swedish citizen, publisher and poet detained by China since October 2015, for 2 and a half years now.
The appeal was simultaneously published in at least 37 media outlets, including major newspapers and the website of our national TV, and more.
For an English translation see: https://twitter.com/KongTsungGan/status/1004179576988131328; also see: “37 Swedish newspapers urge China to free detained publisher Gui Minhai.” HKFP/AFP, 6 June 2018, https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/06/06/37-swedish-newspapers-urge-china-free-detained-publisher-gui-minhai/, and: “Swedish personalities demand release of Gui Minhai.” RTHK, 2018-06-05, http://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1400040-20180605.htm.
For my Chinese translation of the appeal, see: https://twitter.com/Magnus_Fiskesjo/status/1004352122924740608 (feel free to circulate). The text has also appeared in part in Portuguese (http://expresso.sapo.pt/internacional/2018-06-05-Dezenas-de-jornais-suecos-pedem-libertacao-de-editor-sueco-de-origem-chinesa-Gui-Minhai#gs.xyJ1nTA) and in French (https://www.epochtimes.fr/chine-37-journaux-suedois-demandent-la-liberation-de-lediteur-gui-minhai-344010.html) versions.
Also, very important, the Foreign Affairs Committee of Sweden’s Parliament made a joint demand for the freedom of Gui Minhai, dated May 30, 2018. I made a Chinese translation (https://twitter.com/Magnus_Fiskesjo/status/1004358932364701696) as well as an English translation (https://twitter.com/Magnus_Fiskesjo/status/1004360317143535616), reproduced here:
“The [Foreign Affairs] Committee finds that, according to unverified yet widely concurrent information, the Swedish citizen Gui Minhai was taken from his vacation home in Thailand the middle of October 2015, and that he is still deprived of his freedom. The Committee further finds that he was freed, but then detained again in January 2018. The committee regards it as very serious, that Gui Minhai was detained during a consular support mission accompanied by Swedish diplomatic personell, even though Chinese authorities had repeatedly maintained that he was already free at the time. The committee notes that China’s ambassador to Stockholm has been summoned several times to the Foreign Ministry. Furthermore, the committee welcomes the statement by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, on February 15, 2018, making clear that the EU takes very seriously the continued deprivation of freedom of Gui Minhai. In the statement it is also emphasized that China’s actions violate international consular responsibilities, and they raise major question marks around China’s practice of the rule of law. The committee further emphasizes that it is unacceptable that Gui Minhai in March was denied seeing a Swedish doctor who had traveled there to see him. The committee emphasizes that [Gui] Minhai should be immediately set free, and be given the opportunity to meet Swedish diplomatic and medical personell, and it emphasizes the importance of the government’s continued and undiminished work on this case.”
= from pages 26-27 of the committee’s report on “The United Nations and human rights issues in Swedish foreign policy” dated May 30, 2018, found in full at: https://www.riksdagen.se/sv/dokument-lagar/arende/betankande/fn-och-manskliga-rattigheter-i-svensk_H501UU15
Also, just days ago, the national publisher’s associations of each of the five Nordic countries, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland made a joint appeal for Gui Minhai as a fellow publisher. (So far this seems to have been reported only on Swedish radio). (Earlier this year, the International Publisher’s Assn. awarded him its Voltaire prize for freedom of publication, https://www.mhpbooks.com/gui-minhai-his-whereabouts-unknown-wins-the-prix-voltaire-as-the-international-clamor-on-his-behalf-grows-louder/ )
These are all important developments. Our hope is now that China will release our citizen, and, ensure the freedom of speech and of publication. As we said in the appeal, fundamental principles of law and human rights do not make a halt at the borders of any country, China or otherwise.
–Sincerely, Magnus Fiskesjö, firstname.lastname@example.org