Detained Hong Kong bookseller Gui wins Swedish free speech prize

STOCKHOLM, April 20 (Reuters) - A bookseller detained in

China for publishing books on the personal lives of President Xi

Jinping and other Communist Party leaders has won a prize for

free speech and press freedom awarded by a Swedish media


Gui Minhai is one of five Hong Kong booksellers who went

missing in 2015 and later appeared in mainland Chinese custody.

The four others have returned to Hong Kong.

Awarding him the annual Anna Politkovskaya Memorial Prize,

Publicistklubben said Gui had "despite personal risk ...shown

great courage as a publisher and challenged the narrow-mined

political agenda of the Chinese regime".

The arrest of the five men prompted fears Beijing may be

eroding the "one country, two systems" formula under which Hong

Kong has been governed as a special administrative region since

its return to China from British rule in 1997.

Publicistklubben said Gui, a Chinese-born Swede, was

abducted in Thailand while on holiday and his family did not

know where he was being held.

"I am glad that this prize will focus attention on my

father's situation," the prizegivers quoted his Swedish daughter

Angela Gui as saying.

"Hopefully, more attention ... can lead to more information

on his situation and health and that (he) will be treated


China has said its law enforcement officials have done

nothing illegal with regard to Gui.

The prize is named after Anna Politkovskaya, a Ukrainian

journalist best known for reporting on human rights violations

in Chechnya who was murdered in Moscow in 2006.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson,; editing by John Stonestreet)