(Adds Chinese ministry comment)
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 prize givers 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
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, asked about the
award, said he had "no interest" in commenting on what
non-governmental groups got up to, and that he had no idea about
the prize. He did not comment further.
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; Additional reporting by Ben
Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by John Stonestreet)