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"Inviting Gui Minhai" Is a Show of Ignorance of Law
—— Chinese Embassy Spokesperson’s Comments on “Bokmässan bjuder in fängslade Gui Minhai”
2018/08/23

On 22 August, a small number of people from the Gothenburg Book Fair, Svenska PEN and the Swedish Publishers’ Association (SvF) published an article, “Bokmässan bjuder in fängslade Gui Minhai”, in the Cultural Section of Dagens Nyheter (DN). The article, without regard to the truth, is full of fabricated facts that constitute a malicious smear and attack against China. It is a sheer violation of the spirit of rule of law and justice, and a show of ignorance of law.

Gui Minhai has committed serious crimes in both China and Sweden. In the 1990s, Gui Minhai illegally established a school in Gothenburg and enrolled students from China by deception, which led to the death of two Chinese students. To escape punishment of the Swedish law, Gui Minhai fled back to his hometown Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China. On 23 June 1999, SVT broadcast a news report on Gui Minhai’ s fraudulent activities. On a late night in December 2003, Gui Minhai killed a young college girl while drunk driving without a license in Ningbo and escaped from the scene. To escape punishment of the Chinese law, Gui Minhai used a fake identity to get a passport and fled to Hong Kong and eventually out of China. While he was abroad, he illegally smuggled large quantities of books into China without permission from relevant Chinese authorities.

When it comes to such a person who has repeatedly committed serious crimes, some people from the Gothenburg Book Fair, Svenska PEN and SvF keep talking about “rule of law”, “human rights”, “freedom” and “respect”, but never ask the Swedish Government to deal with his offences in accordance with law or respect the Chinese side’s handling his case according to law. On the contrary, they try to make excuses for Gui Minhai and unreasonably demand the Chinese side to release him. Where does their spirit of rule of law go? How can they face the victims of Gui Minhai’s offences? Do they have even a shred of respect for China’s judicial sovereignty? A book fair should be a platform for disseminating truth and facts and promoting justice. But these people should extend an invitation to a criminal! Isn’t it the utmost insult to a book fair?

The claim “China forced Gui Minhai to make TV confessions” is a total lie, a fictitious invention that they want to hype up. Gui Minhai said on different occasions that he hopes the Swedish side will stop playing up the case. He also publicly rejected the so-called “Voltaire award” of SvF. But to realize their hidden political agenda, certain forces continued to hype up the issue and imposed the “award” on him despite his rejection. Is that “respect”? Is that “human rights”? If they truly care about Gui Minhai, they should respect his decision. We urge certain forces, media and individuals, including SvF, Svenska PEN and organizers of the Gothenburg Book Fair, to cease and desist, stop hypocritical behaviors, and bring back their rationality and conscience. We urge them to have some respect for rule of law, for human rights and for democracy, and to respect China’s judicial sovereignty and the right of relevant Chinese authority to handle the case under the law.

We would like to stress again that China is a country of rule of law in all respects where all people are equal before the law. Despite Gui Minhai’s Swedish citizenship, his cases in China must be dealt with by relevant Chinese authorities under the Chinese law, in which foreign countries cannot interfere. Meanwhile, his legitimate rights and interests will be protected under the law. We hope DN will publish our letter, so that its readers will get a chance to know the truth of the Gui Minhai case.

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