Daughter of Missing Hong Kong Publisher Appeals to Congress For Help
Angela Gui, the daughter of a Hong Kong publisher who went missing seven months ago is now appealing to the United States for help. On Tuesday, Gui testified before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, which is currently investigating China’s efforts to silence people who are critical of the government.
In her testimony, Angela Gui claimed that China has been acting illegally beyond its borders by imprisoning her father without trial or reason. She notes that this is particularly troubling because her father, Gui Minhai, actually has Swedish citizenship, not Chinese. He moved to Sweden to study in the 1980s and during his time there she was born.
Gui Minhai, 51, ran a publishing house in Hong Kong and wrote gossip books critical of China’s political elite. He disappeared from his vacation home in Thailand last November. Angela Gui said she had no idea where he was, but that she received messages from her father telling her to keep quiet about what happened to him.
Then, three months after he went missing, he appeared in tears on Chinese state television, saying he had turned himself in for a drunk driving incident that occurred years earlier, and that Sweden should stop looking for him. He also said that his roots would always be in China.
None of this made sense to Angela Gui. In the hearing on Tuesday, she said:
In his so-called confession my father says he traveled to China voluntarily, but if this is true, then why is there no record of him having left Thailand?…Only a state agency, acting coercively and against both international and China’s own law could achieve such a disappearance.
The Swedish government’s own investigation hasn’t produced any results, so she urged the United States to pressure China “to make sure that Chinese authorities are not allowed to carry out illegal operations on foreign soil.”
See her full speech below:
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) May 25, 2016
Gui Minhai is not the only bookseller to suspiciously go missing like this. Since last October, as many as four of his colleagues have been through the same ordeal–all of them later appeared on Chinese state television admitting to various crimes and claiming to have turned themselves in.
One of them, Lee Bo, was allegedly taken from Hong Kong by police from the Chinese mainland, a move that would constitute a breach of the treaty between Hong Kong and China. In his confession video, Lee Bo even renounced his British citizenship and asked people to stop searching for him, just like Gui Minhai. Republican congressman Chris Smith, chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said on Tuesday:
The methods used by Beijing to enforce a code of silence are going global…The heavy hand of the Chinese government has expanded beyond its borders to intimidate and stifle critical discussion of the Chinese government’s human rights record and repressive policies.
The Swedish embassy in Beijing has repeatedly requested to visit Gui Minhai but has not been allowed to since February 24.