The Chinese government has released and deported a Swedish man it accused of training and funding unlicensed lawyers in the country, leading to an extraordinary taped confession broadcast on state television. Swedish embassy spokesman Sebastian Magnusson confirmed Tuesday that Peter Dahlin had left China but was unable to provide further details. Dahlin, co-founder of China Urgent Action Working Group, was featured in a 10-minute segment on state broadcaster CCTV last week in which he confessed to helping unlicensed lawyers take on cases against the government “in clear violation of the law.” He was arrested Jan. 3 on his way to Beijing’s international airport, becoming the first foreigner to become entangled in a wide-ranging crackdown on the country’s increasingly assertive legal rights movement. China often releases people without trial on condition that they not speak publicly about their case. The Swedish embassy issued a statement Friday in which it expressed “deep concern” over the cases against Dahlin and another detained Swedish national, Gui Minhai. “Many unanswered questions remain in both cases and we continue to request clarification of what our citizens are being accused of and the formal status of their arrests,” the statement said. Gui, the other detained Swede, is a Hong Kong-based publisher of sensitive books banned on the mainland who disappeared in October from his apartment in Pattaya, a Thai beach resort. He also reappeared last week on CCTV, saying he returned to China to turn himself in for an old crime. His friends insist Gui was forcibly taken away.
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Newsline: Swedish embassy confirms China releases, deports Swede