China jails book publisher

by Akeem Alao

A court in China has sentenced Chinese-born Swedish citizen, Gui Minhai, to 10 years in prison.

The book publisher received the penalty for illegally providing intelligence abroad in a case that has rattled relations between Beijing and Stockholm.

The court in the eastern city of Ningbo said on Tuesday that it convicted the book publisher on Monday.

Gui first vanished in 2015 while on holiday in Thailand and eventually surfaced at an undisclosed location in China. He confessed to involving in a fatal traffic accident and smuggling illegal books.

He served two years in prison, but three months after his October 2017 release, Chinese authorities ordered his arrest. Police arrested him on a train to Beijing while travelling with Swedish diplomats.

His supporters and family have claimed his detention is part of political repression campaign by Chinese authorities.

The Ningbo court also sentenced Gui to five years of “deprivation of political rights”, which in practice means he cannot lead state-owned enterprises or hold positions in state organs.

Gui’s friend, dissident poet Bei Ling, said at the time that, “Gui’s made the confession under coercion.”

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