Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom (L) talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (R) at the start of an European Union foreign ministers meeting at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium. (Reuters Photo/Yves Herman)

Swedish NGO Worker Released by China


JANUARY 26, 2016

Stockholm. China has released a Swedish man taken into custody earlier this month suspected of acts detrimental to the country's national security, the Swedish Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

But the foreign ministry said it remained concerned about naturalised Swedish citizen Gui Minhai, a Hong Kong-based bookseller who had vanished in October in Thailand.

He appeared on Chinese state television earlier this month, saying he had surrendered to authorities over a fatal drink-driving offence more than a decade ago Peter Dahlin, 35-year-old co-founder of the Chinese Urgent Action Working Group, an organisation that worked with Chinese human rights lawyers, was taken into custody three weeks ago.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in a statement she had been informed by Chinese authorities that Dahlin had been released and that she welcomed his release.

"Meanwhile, I am greatly concerned over over the detained Swedish citizen Gui Minhai," Wallstrom said, adding Sweden was working to get clarity on his situation and the opportunity to visit him.

China's leaders have launched a crackdown on rights lawyers that has triggered international condemnation.