Peter Dahlin (born 1981) is a Swedish human rights activist who was the subject of international media attention after he was arrested in China on January 4, 2016 in connection with his work for the NGO Chinese Urgent Action Working Group (Chinese 中国维权紧急援助组), also known as ‘China Action’, which he co-founded in 2009 to assist, train and help Chinese lawyers, journalists and small NGOs work to promote rule of law and protect human rights in China.
At the time of his arrest, Dahlin was preparing to leave the country, having become aware that the Ministry of State Security were coming for him and his associates. He was held at a detention facility for 23 days, where he was repeatedly interrogated under sleep deprivation and other harsh treatment.
Dahlin later appeared in an interview shown on the Chinese state television channel CCTV, appearing to give a confession in which he stated that he had “violated Chinese law through my activities here, … caused harm to the Chinese government, …(and) hurt the feelings of the Chinese people”. Dahlin was released and deported on January 25. After his release, Dahlin repudiated the statements he had made on TV, indicating that the phrase "hurt the feelings of the Chinese people" being included among the statements made him confident that the non-voluntary nature of the interview would be obvious to people familiar with Chinese media.
China Action ended its work in 2016, when Dahlin was deported from China and other members of the group were detained.
Dahlin has subsequently described and condemned China's practice of airing forced confessions, calling on 'responsible media' to report on the stage-managed nature of the event, rather than the words spoken by the subject, which are provided by the CCP.
He lived in Chiang Mai in Thailand until 2018. He currently lives in Madrid in Spain.
- Wang Quanzhang, Chinese human rights lawyer who was put on trial for working with Dahlin to "train hostile forces"
- 21.12 EST (2017-01-03). "A human rights activist, a secret prison and a tale from Xi Jinping's new China | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
- Change, China (2017-01-03). "Q & A with Peter Dahlin, the Swedish NGO Worker Who 'Endangered the National Security' of China « China Change". Chinachange.org. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
- "CHINA RELEASES SWEDISH NGO WORKER" (PDF). Amnesty International. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
- Tom Phillips in Beijing (2016-01-20). "Swedish activist Peter Dahlin paraded on China state TV for 'scripted confession' | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
- sina_mobile (2016-01-19). "瑞典嫌犯涉危害中国安全被拘_手机新浪网". News.sina.cn. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
- "China releases Swedish rights activist Peter Dahlin - BBC News". BBC News. 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
- "A Secret Detention and a Confession in China | The New York Times". YouTube. 2016-07-12. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
- Responsible media should not act as Beijing’s pawns when reporting on staged, forced confessions, Peter Dahlin, Hong Kong Free Press, 24 February 2018
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