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Swedish doctor denied access to bookseller

14 Mar

Swedish doctor denied access to bookseller

A Swedish doctor has been denied access to Gui Minhai according to a statement released by the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Hong Kong bookseller is urgently in need of medical care, and it remains unclear whether he has access to a lawyer of his choosing or if his family members have been able to visit him since he was again detained in January 2018.

Gui Minhai was prevented from meeting with a Swedish doctor on 7 March 2018, according to a statement released by the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström the following day. She further went on to say that China’s action was “unacceptable” and broke previous assurances that Gui Minhai would be given the opportunity to see a Swedish doctor.

In an almost unprecedented move, China’s Ministry of Public Security arranged on 9 February for Gui Minhai to meet several journalists from mainland Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwanese media outlets at Ningbo City Detention Centre in Zhejiang province, eastern China where Gui Minhai is currently being held.

On camera, with two Chinese police officers behind him, Gui Minhai stated that the Swedish diplomats had persuaded him to go to Beijing and further accused the Swedish government of using him as a “chess piece” to make trouble for Beijing. After the 20-minute interview was completed, the Ministry of Public Security issued a statement saying the authorities had imposed coercive measures on Gui Minhai as he was suspected of having leaked state secrets abroad.

Gui Minhai was on a train from Ningbo to Beijing on 20 January 2018, accompanied by two Swedish diplomats, when he was suddenly taken away by approximately ten plainclothes officers. Travelling to Beijing to seek official diagnosis for what is believed to be ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Gui Minhai is in urgent need of medical care. According to his daughter, due to his neurological condition, Gui Minhai can no longer control his fingers on his left side, his right hand is experiencing problems, and he is now having difficulties walking.

Please join our petition to urge the authorities to:

  • Release Gui Minhai and drop the charges against him unless there is sufficient credible and admissible evidence that he has committed an internationally recognized offence and is granted a fair trial in line with international standards;
  • Grant Gui Minhai prompt, regular and unrestricted access to medical care on request or as necessary;
  • Ensure that Gui Minhai has unrestricted access to consular officials, a lawyer of his choice and his family.
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