TEHRAN.(Iranart) – A Hong Kong-based book publisher with Swedish citizenship disappeared on Saturday in a dramatic fashion - snatched from a train bound for Beijing.
The bookseller Gui Minhai became a symbol of the Chinese government’s determination to smother criticism from abroad when he was one of five Hong Kong booksellers who disappeared in 2015, and then resurfaced in China in police custody, The New York Times reported. In 2015, Gui vanished from a vacation home in Thailand and was accused by Chinese state news media outlets of publishing books that slurred Communist Party leaders. He was formally freed from detention last October, but has been kept in China and forced to report regularly to the police, his daughter, Angela Gui, said by telephone from Britain. Gui was traveling to the Chinese capital for a medical examination. He was sitting on a train, accompanied by two diplomats from the Swedish Consulate in Shanghai. As the train neared Beijing, about 10 plainclothes police officers boarded at a station and led Gui away. After Gui was taken away, Chinese officials told Swedish diplomats that he was suspected of sharing secret information with Swedish diplomats and of meeting them illegally. Supporters call the detention of Gui a campaign by the Chinese government to shut down publishers of books offering unsparing criticism and also unflattering gossip about the party elite. Gui, 53, was born in eastern China, went to study in Sweden in 1988 and became a citizen of the country in 1992. But in recent years, he worked out of Hong Kong, where he became a co-owner of Mighty Current Media, a small publishing house.