Gui Minhai, one of the “five jailed Hong Kong booksellers,” has been released from a Chinese prison. Gui is a Swedish citizen and his country’s foreign ministry announced that Chinese authorities confirmed his release.
However, Gui’s family says they have yet to hear from him. His daughter Angela Gui told reporters, “I still don’t know where my father is … Neither I nor any member of my family nor any of his friends have been contacted. It is still very unclear where he is. I am deeply concerned for his wellbeing.” Based in the UK, she said that the Swedish embassy had received notification that he would be released on October 17. She added that when Swedish officials arrived at the Chinese prison that morning, authorities had told them he left earlier at midnight and was free to travel as he pleased. They gave no detail of his whereabouts, Angela said.
Gui ran a controversial publishing house Mighty Current. its affiliated Causeway Bay Bookstore sold books controversial to the ruling Chinese Communist Party including titles about the personal lives of the country’s political heads.
Gui disappeared from Thailand in October 2015 before later appearing in China where he made a public confession about a fatal car accident that allegedly occurred in 2003. His daughter said it was forced.
Lam Wing-kee, another jailed publisher, agrees. He says the confession was written by Chinese authorities. He added that Lee Bo, another jailed publisher, was kidnapped from Hong Kong. Lee has not confirmed this, but news about Lee and Gui being allegedly abducted against their wills in an extrajudicial process caught the eye of the international community.
Sweden is seeking additional details about Gui’s release.