China is preventing embassy officials from speaking to a Swedish human rights worker it is holding, the group he works for said Wednesday, adding that he requires regular medical care for a potentially life threatening illness. Peter Dahlin was detained last week on the way to Beijing’s international airport on suspicion of endangering state security, the Chinese Urgent Action Working Group said in a statement sent to AFP. His girlfriend, a Chinese national, is also missing, it added. The group said it supports ‘barefoot’ lawyers who provide pro-bono legal aid to grassroots victims of rights violations, from demolition and eviction to arbitrary detention. “Despite constant requests by the Swedish Embassy, the Chinese authorities have denied direct contact with Peter and have not provided any communications from Peter to the embassy,” the statement said. Sweden’s embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the issue of access. In an email on Tuesday the embassy said that “a Swedish citizen, man in his mid-thirties, has been detained in China,” adding it was “investigating”.
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