The Chinese embassy in Stockholm is currently stepping up a campaign to smear the two Swedish citizens detained in China and forced to make coerced fake confessions on Chinese TV: Gui Minhai (still detained, and denied consular and medical assistance) and Peter Dahlin (expelled January 2016).
In its latest statement, http://www.chinaembassy.se/eng/sgxw/t1573515.htm, the embassy escalates this campaign by attacking the Swedish daily newspaper Expressen for its recent article describing the worsening situation for the foreign press in China, https://www.expressen.se/nyheter/sa-straffas-svenska-journalister-av-kina/, as well as also attacking, quite astonishingly, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC), which had been cited as one source among many, by the Expressen writer.
The embassy statement said: “The so called Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) mentioned in the article is an unregistered illegal organization and lacks all legitimacy. It can by no means represent all the foreign journalists stationed in China, and the reports it released are totally unreliable.”
It remains to be seen if this attack foreshadows a real assault on the FCCC in Beijing (http://www.fccchina.org).
The context is that the Chinese embassy in Stockholm has a propaganda offensive under way, including the attempted character assassinations of the victims of abduction and forced confession, but also now targeting Swedish news media and journalists, such as Expressen (which I suspect will wear this as a badge of honor) and Jojje Olsson (denied Chinese visas); possibly also intimidating other individuals in Sweden who have signed appeals for Gui Minhai (like the one on June 5, carried in 37-38 media outlets and signed by 45 Swedish public and cultural figures, including myself).
Recently, the Chinese ambassador went so far as to threaten Sweden as a country with punishment, if we persist in speaking about human rights, in connection with the Gui Minhai case (in a Swedish radio interview 7 June 2018, https://sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt/1092368?programid=1300; https://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=1300&artikel=6981212. This was an interview to which the ambassador had invited himself, seeking to dispute and “correct” an earlier program, about the deteriorating situation in China).
His astonishing human rights threat was made only days after the full Foreign Affairs Committee of Sweden’s Parliament demanded the release of Gui Minhai — in its formal report on human rights as a part of Sweden’s foreign policy, released May 30, 2018 (https://www.riksdagen.se/sv/dokument-lagar/arende/betankande/fn-och-manskliga-rattigheter-i-svensk_H501UU15; https://data.riksdagen.se/fil/0CBA24BE-06C9-418A-891D-E3053E446CD1; cf. p. 26, see my translation into English and Chinese: https://twitter.com/Magnus_Fiskesjo/status/1004358932364701696; https://twitter.com/Magnus_Fiskesjo/status/1004360317143535616).
The embassy’s rather insidious, but classic, character assassination campaign was also carried further in the same Swedish radio interview, including by way of the Chinese ambassador’s unique defense of the coerced confessions, which he tried to claim are genuine, arguing that those who retract such a confession are dishonest (such as Peter Dahlin, who retracted his, after he was expelled from China).
He who smelt it, dealt it: The ambassador is of course the dishonest one here. Dahlin, for one, has gone on to publish a detailed account of the awful, deeply dishonest Chinese coercion procedures that forced him to go along with his own fake TV appearance, including routinely making nasty threats against friends and family (http://rsdlmonitor.com/new-report-offers-backstage-pass-to-chinas-forced-tv-confessions/ ). Lam Wing-kee, Gui’s admirable publishing colleague, has issued similarly damning descriptions of the forced confessions (https://www.hongkongfp.com/2016/09/11/missing-bookseller-lam-wing-kees-ordeal-full-words/ ), by far the most insidious form of manufactured, malignant and dishonest “fake news,” anywhere. (I’ve written about the confessions here: http://apjjf.org/2017/13/Fiskesjo.html; and here: http://www.chinoiresie.info/confessions-made-in-china/).
And now, two days ago, the brave Chinese lawyer Wang Yu came out to add to all this damning evidence, by stating unequivocally she only did her confession on TV because they threatened to harm her family:
“I was forced to confess, says lawyer Wang Yu.” RTHK, 2018-07-04 HKT 18:52.
As for our citizen Gui Minhai, the latest is that on July 4, our Swedish foreign minister admitted we know nothing about Gui’s health, despite a new promise from the same Chinese embassy that he would be granted new consular and health visits (or visit! they used the singular, not plural, in their statement!).
A new protest rally is planned for July 13, noon, outside the same Chinese embassy: https://twitter.com/Magnus_Fiskesjo/status/1014987520210325504
–All are welcome! It is organized by Swedish writer Kurdo Baksi, and co-sponsored by the national Publishing Association of Sweden and by the national Writer’s Association of Sweden. Several speakers, including myself.
Magnus Fiskesjo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ps. Anyone interested can have a copy of my comprehensive updated collection of news and reports about the case of Gui Minhai (now running at 250+ pages, organized by languages and with an executive summary and timeline).