Bookseller Gui Minhai snatched again by Chinese agents, diplomats say

Local | 22 Jan 2018 8:40 pm

A Swedish publisher believed to have been abducted by Chinese agents after riling Beijing with his books about the peccadilloes of the Communist party’s elite has allegedly been snatched for a second time while travelling to Beijing by train with a group of European diplomats, the Guardian reported.

Supporters and relatives of Gui Minhai, a Hong Kong-based bookseller who mysteriously vanished from his Thai holiday home in October 2015, had hoped he was on the verge of freedom after reports that he was "half free” and living under surveillance in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo.

However, those hopes were dashed today by claims that he had again vanished, this time while taking a train to Beijing for medical treatment with two Swedish diplomats, the Guardian said.

Angela Gui, the bookseller’s UK-based daughter, told the Guardian she was "very saddened” by the latest twist in her father’s story. "This was precisely what wasn’t supposed to happen,” she said.

Gui, 53, is understood to have been travelling to Beijing on Saturday to be examined at the Swedish embassy because of concerns that he might have a rare neurological disease. As the publisher’s train stopped at a station not far from the Chinese capital, his daughter said, about 10 plainclothes agents boarded and escorted him away. "I haven’t heard anything [about where he is now],” she added.

John Kamm, an American human rights campaigner who has been working with the bookseller’s family, told the New York Times: "Gui Minhai is exhibiting symptoms of a serious neurological condition, symptoms that did not exist before he was taken into custody in October 2015.” 

Referring to the death in Chinese custody last year of the Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, Kamm added: "I pray we will not witness the death in prison of another person accused of political crimes.”

Angela Gui told the Guardian: "I would like my father to be immediately released so he can return to Sweden and receive the medical care he urgently needs.

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