Some posters denounce the disappearance of Chinese publishers Lee Bo (i) and Gui Minhai, outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong, on January 19, 2016
The Chinese publisher-bookseller of Chinese origin Gui Minhai reappeared three weeks after his arrest by Chinese police, confessed to having behaved badly and accused his adopted country, Sweden, of having manipulated him as „a pawn in chess.“
It is not known whether these filmed statements are sincere or were made under duress. But in the video he is seen surrounded by two policemen and a close friend of the editor declared that „you must not believe“ his words.
Gui, 53, who sold works in Hong Kong that ridiculed the communist regime, was arrested by plainclothes police on January 20 in a Chinese train that was taking him to Beijing, where he had an appointment with a Swedish doctor, fearing he had contracted Charcot’s disease.
The editor was accompanied by two Swedish diplomats.
Sweden denounced on Monday its „brutal“ kidnapping in China and demanded its immediate release, a request also made by the European Union and the United States.
The Chinese government confirmed on February 7 that the Swedish bookseller was in custody.
In the video, Gui accused Sweden of getting rid of „sensationalism“ in the case of his arrest. That video emanates from an „interview“ organized on Friday by the Chinese authorities with carefully selected means of the country, as they explained.
Gui adds in the video that he has suffered pressure from Sweden to leave China, despite the prohibition on leaving the territory due to pending legal issues. „Perhaps I have become the pawn of Sweden in a game of chess, I have violated the law instigated“ by the Swedes, he adds.
One of his friends, the dissident poet Bei Ling, declared that „there is no doubt“ that the publisher wanted to receive medical care abroad and that „you can not believe the words of a person who is oppressed as a prisoner.“
In 2015, Gui disappeared during his vacation in Thailand, before reappearing in a Chinese detention center. In February 2016, he left crying on Chinese television and confessed his involvement in a traffic accident while intoxicated years before.
Chinese authorities announced his release in October 2017, but his daughter told Swedish radio that since her release from prison, her father was placed in a police apartment under surveillance in the port city of Ningbo (east).