Gui Minhao: One of five missing booksellers from Hong Kong makes tearful ‘confession’ on Chinese TV

'Even though I am a Swedish national, I truly feel that I am still Chinese. So I hope that the Swedish side would let me solve my own problems'

A bookseller who has not been seen since October has made a “confession” on Chinese TV saying he handed himself over to authorities for a drink-driving offence which caused a death in 2004.

Gui Minhai, a 51-year-old naturalised Swedish national, who is a bookseller and publisher in Hong Kong, went missing from his holiday home in Thailand in October.

It has been feared he may have been taken by Chinese agents. 

Mr Gui is one of five members to go missing from the publishing house, Mighty Current, and bookstore Causeway Bay Books. Both specialise in selling gossipy political books - which are legal in Hong Kong - on China’s ruling Communist Party leaders. 

Three of his colleagues went missing while separately visiting family in mainland China, Sky News reported, which has caused substantial protests on the streets in Hong Kong. 

Chinese state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday he had “surrendered to public security organs” in October and voluntarily returned to China to answer a conviction from 2004, in what they called an “exclusive interview”. 

The CCT tweeted the bookseller had "turned himself in" as breaking news. 

While Xinhau tweeted: "'Missing' bookseller hands himself in".

CNN reported the Mr Gui said went to China voluntarily because he wanted to see his aging mother.  

But the Chinese news agency did not give details on his surrender or how he got from Thailand to China. 

Activists believe Mr Gui was unlawfully transported to China because of an unpublished book aout the private life of the Chinese president. 

In a report the Chinese agency published, it said Mr Gui fled two years after the incident, in which a female student was killed, and say he is now suspected of other crimes.

An employee arranges books about China politics in a books store in Causeway Bay district in Hong Kong

Mr Minhai said in the CCT broadcast: “I am returning to surrender by personal choice, it has nothing to do with anyone,” on Sunday night.

“This is a personal responsibility that I ought to bear.” 

Mr Minhai went on to say: “Even though I am a Swedish national, I truly feel that I am still Chinese and my roots are still in China.

“So I hope that the Swedish side would respect my personal choice, rights and privacy and let me solve my own problems.”

He is thought to be in a detention centre in mainland China, according to the BBC. 

Gabriella Augustsson, head of diplomacy for the Swedish embassy in Beijing said: Sweden is continuing to “seek clarifications from the Chinese authorities.

“We still have no information regarding he man’s exact whereabouts. This is serious and we continue to work intensively to find out what has happened,” she added. 

It is not clear whether he has had access to a lawyer, but his daughter, Angela, who lives in Britain said she believed the Swedish authorities were doing everything they could to try and help with the case. 

She also said she believed her father had been abducted in relation to his work. 

“There’s got to be a reason it happened now and that the others were taken as well,” she said. 

The Swedish Foreign Ministry raised Mr Gui’s case with the Chinese ambassador to Stockholm, earlier this month. 

Included in the missing five from the same publishing house is Lee Bo, the fifth person reported missing, who is the chief editor was reported missing on January 1. He was last seen in the publishing house’s warehouse in Hong Kong. 

The other men reported missing are Lui Bo, the general manager of Mighty Current, last seen in mainland China in October, Cheung Jiping, 32, the publishing house’s business manager and Lam Wingkei, 60, the manager of the book store, who was last seen in Hong Kong in October. 

Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying said on Monday the government was taking the case seriously and would continue to investigate the circumstances of those missing. 

Under the “one country, two systems” law, Hong Kong is supposed to be autonomous from China. 

Additional reporting from Reuters