Peter Dahlin, a Swedish human rights activist who was detained by Chinese authorities earlier this month, was paraded on state TV Tuesday night to deliver what friends and colleagues describe as a forced confession.
“I have no complaints to make. I think my treatment has been fair,” Dahlin, 35, says in the footage aired on CCTV, The Guardian newspaper reported.
“I violated Chinese law through my activities here,” the activist says. “I have caused harm to the Chinese government. I have hurt the feelings of the Chinese people. I apologize sincerely for this and I am very sorry that this has happened.”
State news agency Xinhua reported earlier that Dahlin was detained on Jan. 3 as part of a police operation to smash an “illegal organization that sponsored activities jeopardizing China’s national security”.
The report alleged that Dahlin’s human rights group, the Chinese Urgent Action Working Group (CUAWG), had “hired and trained others to gather, fabricate and distort information about China”.
Police claimed the group “also organized others to interfere with sensitive cases, deliberately aggravating disputes and instigating public-government confrontations to create mass incidents”.
Speaking on Wednesday, Michael Caster, who worked with Dahlin at CUAWG, told The Guardian that his friend and colleague appeared to have been coerced into making parts of the statement.
Dahlin’s “confession” video came after Sweden urged Beijing recently to provide information on missing Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai, who holds a Swedish passport.
On Sunday, Gui was shown on state TV saying that he has voluntarily surrendered to the Chinese police as he felt guilty about a 2003 car accident which killed a female college student.
Gui and four fellow booksellers from Hong Kong are believed to be held by mainland authorities as they were publishing books critical of China’s leaders.
(Putonghua and English)
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