A dissident publisher who has been detained in China off and on since 2015 is to release a collection of his poems that were smuggled out of jail, a Swedish publishing house said on Wednesday.
Chinese-born Gui Minhai (桂民海), a Swedish citizen based in Hong Kong who has published books critical of China’s leaders, was abducted in Thailand in 2015 and later appeared in custody in China.
The book, titled I Draw a Door on the Wall with My Finger, is to be released in May next year on Gui’s 56th birthday.
“We were contacted by his daughter Angela and she wondered if we wanted to publish the poems, which we very much wanted,” said Martin Kaunitz of publisher Kaunitz & Olsson. “He had them smuggled out to Angela and he wrote the poems during his first stay in prison.”
Kaunitz said the book was a good way of shining a light on Chinese authorities and to keep Gui in the public’s mind.
“It is clear that the attention of the outside world is a protection for these people,” he said.
Gui became a Swedish citizen after studying there in the 1980s.
After the abduction, he was released in October 2017, but his whereabouts were unclear until January last year when he was seized by Chinese agents on a Beijing-bound train in the presence of Swedish diplomats.
His detention has been a source of tension between Stockholm and Beijing, and Sweden replaced its ambassador to China earlier this year after her “incorrect” handling of unauthorized meetings intended to help free Gui.
LIFE GOES ON: After a strict lockdown that left millions on the brink of starvation, Indians embrace work to avoid starvation and get ready for several major festivals India is on course to top the world in COVID-19 cases, but from Maharashtra’s whirring factories to Kolkata’s thronging markets, people are back at work — and eager to forget the pandemic for festival season. After a strict lockdown in March that left millions on the brink of starvation, the government and people of the world’s second-most populous country decided life must go on. Sonali Dange, for instance, has two young daughters and an elderly mother-in-law to look after. She was hospitalized this year in excruciating pain after catching the novel coronavirus. However, after the lockdown exhausted the family’s savings, the 29-year-old had
A COVID-19 outbreak among hundreds of Russian and Ukrainian fishers flown to New Zealand to bolster its struggling deep-sea fishing industry has prompted that country’s largest daily increase in infections in months, authorities said yesterday. More than 230 fishers were flown in from Moscow last week, with 18 of the crew members then testing positive for COVID-19 while in quarantine, New Zealand Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said. The Pacific nation has almost eliminated local transmission of the virus, but regularly records small numbers of new cases in returned travelers. The fishing cluster pushed the daily tally of new infections to 25,
From monitoring vital signs to filtering filthy air and even translating speech into other languages, the COVID-19-fueled boom in mask-wearing has spawned an unusual range of high-tech face coverings. As masks become the norm worldwide, tech companies and researchers are rolling out weird and wonderful models to guard against infection and cash in on a growing trend. One of the wackiest comes from Japan, where start-up Donut Robotics has created a face covering that helps users adhere to social distancing and also acts as a translator. The “C-Face” mask works by transmitting a wearer’s speech to a smartphone via an app, and allows
JAPAN Deer-edible bags invented The deer that roam Nara no longer face discomfort — or far worse — after local firms developed a safe alternative to the plastic packaging discarded by tourists that often ended up in the animals’ stomachs. Last year, several of the 1,300 deer that wander around the ancient capital’s central park were found dead after swallowing plastic bags and food wrappers. Firms collaborated to develop bags that pass safely through the animals’ complex digestive system. The bags are made with recycled pulp from milk cartons and rice bran, one of the main ingredients of the shika senbei savory