New Chinese accusations against detained Swedish human rights activist Peter Dahlin

1:42 min

A new point of accusation has emerged against Swedish citizen Peter Dahlin who was detained in Beijing after having facilitated legal support for human rights activists in China. He "provided funds for criminal activities", according to Chinese authorities.

New Chinese accusations against detained Swedish human rights activist: report from Swedish Radio Beijing Correspondent Hanna Sahlberg.

Peter Dahlin, who disappeared in Beijing during the night of January the 4th, is being held by Chinese authorities based on accusations of "providing funds for criminal activities" according to Chapter 107 of the Chinese Criminal Law. This information was provided to Swedish Radio by Peter Dahlin's father, Thomas Dahlin, after officials from the Swedish Embassy in Beijing were allowed a first meeting with the arrested Swede at a detention facility today (January 16th).

The detained man told the visiting officials that he felt relatively well, given the circumstances. In stark contrast to the usual conditions in Chinese detention centres, he is being kept in a private room with a bed, and is allowed extra fruit, as told by Embassy officials after the visit. The head of the detention centre is also said to have ensured the visitors he is well read up on the detainee's medical condition and the continuous medication he needs.

No questions concerning the well-being of Peter Dahlin's girlfriend were allowed during the visit, according to Thomas Dahlin. The woman, a Chinese citizen, is said to have disappeared at the same time as Peter Dahlin.

The new accusation against the Swede for "funding criminal activities" is serious. However, the earlier mentioned suspicions of "threatening state security" were not said to have been brought up again by the Chinese authorities.

Peter Dahlin has been working for the organisation China Urgent Action Working Group which describes itself as a group of Chinese researchers, lawyers and experts focused on providing judicial assistance and support for threatened human rights activist and their families in China, within the framework of Chinese law.

Below are the translated comments made by Thomas Dahlin to Swedish Radio’s correspondent on January 16th, after Swedish Embassy officials were allowed to visit Peter Dahlin at a detention centre in Beijing:

”He is still in pretrial detention and the accusation is ”providing funds to criminal activities” according to Chapter 107 in the Chinese Criminal Law.”

“He looked healthy tough a bit pale and said himself that he felt relatively well, given the situation. He had his own small room with a bed, and got his medicine that was kept in a refrigerator, and extra fruit.“

“It was a newly built detention centre in Beijing and the head of the detention centre said that he had read up on Addison’s disease.”

“Peter said he was treated well and that it was by no means any “Bangkok Hilton”.”

“Some enquires were not allowed, for example (his girlfriend)’s situation, and they were not allowed to provide toilet articles or money.”