Sweden recalled her Ambassador in China after Gui Minhai’s second imprisonment

Sweden assumed its ambassador from Beijing for deliberations on Wednesday after a serious diplomatic incident came to the spotlight. The Swedish security authorities launched an internal investigation examining, among other parameters, the ambassador’s role into bringing the daughter of a detained Swedish bookseller, Mr. Gui Minhai, into contact with Chinese businessmen who proposed to assist in the legal case. The Swedish security authorities in fact examine whether there was an illegal collusion with the Chinese authorities.

Mr. Gui Minhai is a Swedish citizen based in Hong Kong, where his local bookselling company’s headquarters were located before being burned down. He has been twice jailed in China on the grounds of his excessive criticism against the political ties and private life scandals of prominent members of the Chinese elite. Mr. Gui was abducted by the Chinese police forces in Thailand in October 2015, before being released from prison in October 2017. In mid-January 2018, Mr. Gui was for once again arrested while en route to Beijing via train. During his arrest, Mr. Gui was accompanied by two Swedish diplomats. The arrested bookseller is alleged to have requested Swedish assistance to treat his neurological ALS disease. Since his capture, Mrs. Angela Gui, daughter and Phd candidate at University of Cambridge, initiated a public outcry to re-examine the conditions behind her father’s imprisonment.

The Swedish Ambassador to China, Mrs. Anna Lindstedt, is alleged to have brought Mrs. Gui in contact with some mysterious representatives of the Chinese business community, who offered to assist in her father’s legal troubles. The Swedish government summoned the ambassador to facilitate the conduct of a follow-up investigation over the identity and intentions of the Chinese businessmen, examining the possibility of an illegal collusion with China to have taken place. The Swedish ambassador does not face any criminal charges so far nor has she been subjected to any official interrogation. She was withdrawn from her position, nonetheless, to effectively distance herself from ongoing investigations over Mr. Gui’s legal case.

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