Archive for ‘release’


India asks World Court to order release of man sentenced to death in Pakistan

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – India asked the World Court on Monday to order the release of an Indian national sentenced to death by Pakistan, saying Islamabad had failed to allow him diplomatic assistance before his conviction, as required by an international treaty.

The hearings at the U.N. court, formally known as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), revolve around the case of Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, a former Indian navy commander who was arrested in Pakistan in March 2016 and convicted of spying.

Hearings in the case, which will run for four days, come at a time of intense tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours, as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has warned of a “strong response” to a suicide attack on a convoy in Kashmir last week that killed 44 Indians.

“It would be in the interest of justice, of making human rights a reality, to direct his (Jadhav’s) release,” said Harish Salve, India’s senior counsel.

Pakistan is due to respond at the ICJ on Tuesday. Officials in Islamabad said ahead of the hearing that India was trying to use the court intended to resolve international disputes as a criminal appeals court. They also said the relief sought by India is disproportionate even if the treaty were violated, and at most Jadhav’s case could be reviewed.

India filed a claim against Pakistan before the ICJ in May 2017 arguing Islamabad had breached the 1963 Vienna Convention by not allowing diplomatic assistance to Jadhav during his secretive trial. India won an injunction that ordered Jadhav’s execution stayed while the court looked into the case.

No date has been set for a ruling, which will likely come months after the close of the hearings.

The ICJ is the U.N.’s highest court, and its decisions are binding — though it has no power to enforce them and they have been ignored in rare instances.

The 1963 treaty has been a frequent source of cases before the ICJ. A 2004 ruling led the United States to review the cases of dozens of Mexican citizens on U.S. death row after they were found not to have been granted consular access.

Source: Reuters

Sweden replaces China envoy in furore over dissident bookseller

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden said on Thursday it had replaced its ambassador to China after her “incorrect” handling of unauthorized meetings intended to help free dissident bookseller Gui Minhai.

The Hong Kong-based, Swedish publisher of books critical of China’s communist leaders was abducted in Thailand in 2015 and later appeared in custody in mainland China.

His daughter Angela Gui said this week she had met ambassador Anna Lindstedt and two businessmen in Stockholm in January, where she was advised to keep quiet about her father’s case while negotiations were proceeding.

Sweden’s Foreign Ministry said that was not an official meeting, and Lindstedt had now returned to Sweden with an interim envoy sent to Beijing during an inquiry.

“Neither the Foreign Ministry nor the Foreign Minister were informed until after the event,” ministry spokesman Rasmus Eljanskog said in an emailed statement.

“As a consequence of the incorrect manner in which the said meetings were handled, we are now conducting an internal investigation.”

Gui, 54, became a Swedish citizen after studying there in the 1980s. After the abduction, he was released in October 2017, but his whereabouts were unclear until January last year when his daughter said he was seized by Chinese agents on a Beijing-bound train in the presence of Swedish diplomats.

China later confirmed it had detained him again.

In her blog, Angela Gui said Lindstedt invited her to Stockholm to meet two businessmen who could help secure her father’s release.


“The businessman said, ‘you care about Anna (Lindstedt), right? If you keep talking to the media it’ll damage her career. You don’t want her to come to any harm, do you?’”, she said in the post on blog portal Medium.

“In order for this to happen (negotiations), I was told I needed to be quiet. I wasn’t to tell anyone about this, or say anything publicly about the case,” she added.

“I’m not going to be quiet in exchange for … an arbitrary promise that my father ‘might’ be released. Threats, verbal abuse, bribes, or flattery won’t change that.”

China’s Foreign Ministry declined comment, with spokeswoman Hua Chunying saying she knew nothing about Gui’s latest situation. On its website, China’s embassy in Stockholm said it had not authorized anyone to “engage” with Gui’s daughter.

“The Chinese side handles the Gui Minhai case in accordance with law and legal procedure,” it said.

Gui’s original abduction – along with four others in the Hong Kong book trade – fed worries about interference from Beijing despite guarantees of wide-ranging freedoms for the former British colony which returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

The four others have since returned to Hong Kong. The United States and European Union have urged Gui’s release.

Sweden said it was continuing to seek Gui’s freedom, as Lindstedt faced scathing criticism for what the leader of Sweden’s Left Party called an “outrageous scandal”.

“A Swedish ambassador has done the bidding of a dictatorship and tried to silence the daughter of a Swedish political prisoner in China,” Jonas Sjostedt told local TV.

“I don’t think we have seen a worse scandal in Swedish foreign administration for decades.”

Lindstedt could not immediately be reached for comment.

Source: Reuters


China demands immediate release of Huawei CFO

BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — China has lodged solemn representations with Canada and the United States and demanded the immediate release of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Thursday.

Meng was provisionally detained by the Canadian Authorities on behalf of the United States of America, when she was transferring flights in Canada, Huawei said in a statement Thursday.

Spokesperson Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing that China has lodged solemn representations with the Canadian and U.S. sides, urging the two countries to clarify the reason they detained Meng, immediately release her and effectively protect her legitimate rights and interests.

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