China jails two senior Hong Kong journalists

HONG KONG • Two men who held senior positions at Hong Kong political magazines were jailed in China yesterday for illegal business operations, bribery and bid-rigging, a lawyer said.

Their sentences come after five Hong Kong booksellers linked to a shop specialising in gossipy books about China's leaders went missing and were later found to be in mainland Chinese custody. The incident raised concerns about free speech in the city.

Yesterday, the Shenzhen Nanshan district court sentenced Wang Jianmin, 63, to five years and three months in jail, and Guo Zhongxiao, 41, was given two years and three months' jail, Wang's lawyer Chen Nansha said. The court published brief details of the decision on its website, confirming what the lawyer said.

The men worked for the political magazines New-Way Monthly and Multiple Face. Wang was a magazine founder and Guo was a chief editor.

Wang has a United States passport and a Hong Kong identity card, according to his lawyer.

It was not immediately clear what passport Guo carried but he was born in mainland China and also had a Hong Kong identity card, the lawyer said. Both were arrested in mainland China in May 2014. The lawyer declined to say whether he believed the case was political.

The Shenzhen Nanshan district court, district government and foreign affairs office did not respond to requests for comment by press-time.

Hong Kong police said arrests in mainland China fell outside their jurisdiction.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'China jails two senior Hong Kong journalists'. Print Edition | Subscribe