Swedish Olympic Champion Donates Gold Medal to Chinese Imprisoned Writers and Bookstores

Swedish Double Olympic Speed ​​Skating Champion Nils van der Poel donated one of the gold medals to Chinese-born Swedish citizen Gui Minhai. Gui Minhai is a writer and bookstore serving a sentence in China.

The skater, who won the 5,000-meter event at the Beijing Olympics, set a world record in the 10,000-meter race, and won another gold medal, handed the medal to Gi’s daughter Angela on February 24, and the human rights situation in China. Raised awareness. According to a statement released by Amnesty International, which is based in the United Kingdom.

“I want you to reduce human rights abuses in China and free Gui Minhai,” said the Olympic winner. “I have a lot of questions, but that’s the only rational thing I want.”

In February 2020, Chinese authorities sentenced Gui, who was born in China but has Swedish citizenship, to 10 years in prison for providing information abroad by illegal means.

Gui was a prolific author of a book criticizing a powerful Chinese politician under the pseudonym Ah Hai. He was also one of the three shareholders of Hong Kong-based Causeway Bay, which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) considered confidential and sold books on banned topics in China.

From October to December 2015, five key staff members, including bookstore owners Lam Wing-kee and Gui, went missing one after another in mainland China, Thailand and Hong Kong. After that, it turned out that they were all under the control of the Chinese authorities. The incident attracted worldwide attention and further heightened Hong Kongers’ concerns about local freedom of speech and publishing.

In addition, Gui’s arrest and conviction led to tensions between China and Sweden.

Van der Poel accused Beijing of abusing the recent Winter Olympics to whiten human rights issues.

“I and my sports friends have worked hard to reach the top of our lives,” he said. “And the Chinese government is using our dreams as a political weapon to justify its regime. It has become personal and familiar to me.”

Angela received a medal on behalf of her father. “Of course, I would have hoped this wasn’t necessary,” she said. “But it’s very nice that the medal can represent solidarity for political prisoners like my father and countless other victims of Beijing’s human rights abuses.”

The Swedish government added that voice to the campaign.

“Two years ago, China announced a 10-year prison sentence for Swedish and EU citizens Gui Minhai,” Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Linde wrote on Twitter on February 25. And I was able to reunite with his daughter and her family. “

The Chinese embassy in Stockholm did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Frank Yue


Frank Yue is a Canadian-based journalist in The Epoch Times, featuring news related to China. He also holds a Master’s degree in English and Literature from Tianjin Foreign Studies University in China.