Yesterday, the Swedish Publicists’ Association announced Gui Minhai as winner of its Anna Politovskaya memorial prize. (Link in Swedish.)
The prize is awarded every year to a journalist or publisher that, through his or hers work, did something good in defence of freedom of speech and the press. ”Because he, despite personal risk, has shown great courage as a publisher by challenging the narrow political agenda of the Chinese regime”, was the official motivation for the prize.
Gui Minhai, of course, is the Swedish publisher based in Hong Kong, that was kidnapped during a trip to Thailand in October 2015. He has now been held incommunicado by the Chinese authorities for over 550 days.
Björn Häger, director of the Swedish Publicists’ Association did the following statement after the announcement:
Gui Minhai has stood up for freedom of publishing and challenged the Chinese regime’s attempts to scare him into silence. By of Anna Politovskaya memorial prize, we want to show our support för Gui Minhai and his struggle for human rights in China. The regime’s outrageous treatment of Minhai [sic] must be resolutely condemned and given more attention.
Gui’s daughter Angela Gui expressed her gratitude for the prize, and said she hopes it will help draw attention to her father’s case. She also said that more attention from different actors potentially can result in more information about Gui’s situation and well-being, as well as in better treatment for him.
Late last month, Gui Minhai was also awarded the 2017 Jeri Leber Award by the Association of American Publishers International Freedom to Publish Committee. The prize is given annually to a book publisher outside of the US who has ”demonstrated courage and fortitude in the face of restrictions on freedom of expression”.