Swedish NGO worker released by China - Swedish foreign ministry

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 25, 2016 12:42 PM

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - 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 naturalized 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 offense more than a decade ago

Peter Dahlin, 35-year-old co-founder of the Chinese Urgent Action Working Group, an organization 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.

(Reporting by Sven Nordenstam; editing by Ralph Boulton; editing by Ralph Boulton)