Hong Kong bookseller seized again as Swedish diplomats looked on

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Gui Minhui 桂敏海, one of five Hong Kong-based book publishers who went missing in late 2015 and later surfaced under police custody in China, was taken off a Beijing-bound train on Saturday by a group of about 10 plainclothes men, his daughter Angela told the New York Times (paywall).

  • Gui, a Swedish citizen, was accompanied on the train by two diplomats from the Swedish Consulate in Shanghai and planned to undergo a medical exam at the embassy in Beijing. He has reportedly been showing symptoms of neurological disease since his release in October, and had been living in eastern China and required to report regularly to police.
  • It was not known whether Gui or the diplomats put up any resistance to his seizure, though the incident could rekindle tensions between China, Sweden, and other European countries.
  • The Times was unable to get additional information on the case from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of Public Security, though it reports that “Chinese officials told Swedish diplomats that he was suspected of sharing secret information with Swedish diplomats and of meeting them illegally.”