Swedish rights activist detained in China gave televised ‘confession’

BEIJING,  A Swedish human rights activist detained in China admitted on state television that he broke the law, prompting speculation that he had been coerced.

Friends and colleagues of Peter Dahlin, a Swedish human rights activist detained in China, say they believe his televised apology was coerced. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo













“I violated Chinese law through my activities here, I’ve caused harm to the Chinese government, I’ve hurt the feelings of the Chinese people. I apologize sincerely for this, and I’m very sorry that this ever happened,” Peter Dahlin said Wednesday, theBBC reported.

Dahlin was arrested in early January for banned activities, according to Xinhua, China’s state news agency. Chinese press reported Dahlin was detained on Jan. 2 as part of a police operation to destroy an “illegal organization that sponsored activities jeopardizing China’s national security.”

The Guardian reported Dahlin’s friends and colleagues have said the statement he made was a “forced confession” and that allegations Dahlin was attempting to destabilize the Chinese Communist Party was “ridiculous and absurd.”

“I have no complaints to make. I think my treatment has been fair,” Dahlin, 35, said on Chinese station CCTV. “I have been given good food, plenty of sleep, and I have suffered no mistreatments of any kind.”

While Dahlin appeared before the public, it was unclear whether two Chinese members of his group, also under arrest, were safe.

One of the Chinese nationals detained was Dahlin’s girlfriend, Pan Jinling. No one knows her whereabouts, The Guardian reported.

Michael Caster, Dahlin’s fellow activist prior to his arrest, said Pan’s “situation by the letter of the law amounts to an enforced disappearance without question.”

“There has been no acknowledgment of having her. Her whereabouts are unknown. Her condition is unknown,” Caster said

By Elizabeth Shim