In Beijing China, a Swedish activist was released after he was detained for suspicious activity that dealt with supposed endangerment of state security. He confessed on national Chinese television and the international community took notice.
Peter Dahlin was released and sent back to Sweden this week according to an announcement by China Urgent Action Working Group, a legal group and non profit that was set up by Dahlin in 2009. Dahlin’s girlfriend who is Chinese, named Pan Jinling was also released along with Peter according to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Sweden’s embassy stationed in Beijing confirmed that he was released and this was due to a significant amount of contact between foreign ministers and the Chinese government.
He had been detained earlier in the month of January and left after he had apologized on state television. The couple had been detained on January 3rd while the two of them were heading over to the Beijing airport. It was nearly two weeks before Dahlin was able to meet with Swedish officers. The charges against him were for endangering the security of the state by funding human rights lawyers in China and defaming China’s civil rights record. Also it was suspected he was planting a foreign attack on Chinese soil.
During his confession on January 19th, Dahlin said that he had funded lawyers who were commiting illegal crimes and he also said he did not believe human rights reports to be true. Many outside of his circle felt that his confessions were forced out of him in order to appease the government and be let go without causing too much of a storm for the Chinese government.
The entire debacle comes in the midst of more dissenters in China being dealt with by the government in more forceful ways. The Chinese government has been taking more attention on a small amount of human rights lawyers throughout the nation and the funders that support these groups.
China has arrested a dozen lawyers and anyone else who may be related to the dissenters or supporting them in some way.
In perspective his release was much faster than what has happened to others who dare dissent against the Chinese regime. Mr. Gui a publisher who is critical of China and their leadership has publicly stated words against China and has had to face the consequences. He was supposedly returning to the country for a hit and run accident in 2003, but there is skepticism surrounding his return. Many of his associates have gone missing or been detained. Chinese authorities are trying to stop any international concern that others might have by releasing some but keeping their main agenda under the shadows.
Their main goal is to create fear in any civil groups that would seek to deface the image China has been curating for some time. The measures they are taking are drastic and will not be lost on the international community for injustice like this cannot be hidden in the modern day world.