Protest over missing HK bookseller

A demonstrator burning a letter next to pictures of missing people linked to a Hong Kong bookstore during a protest outside China's representative office yesterday. The photo on the right is of bookseller Lee Bo.
A demonstrator burning a letter next to pictures of missing people linked to a Hong Kong bookstore during a protest outside China's representative office yesterday. The photo on the right is of bookseller Lee Bo.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG • Hong Kong opposition lawmakers protested yesterday outside Beijing's representative office in the city over the disappearance of a bookseller who specialises in publications critical of China's Communist Party.

Mr Lee Bo, 65, a major shareholder of Causeway Bay Books, vanished on Wednesday after he went to fetch books from his warehouse, Mr Lee's wife told Hong Kong media. She said her husband had called her from a mainland Chinese number to tell her he was safe but would not reveal his location, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported yesterday.

Mr Lee is the fifth person linked to the bookstore to have gone missing in the past two months. Others include Mr Gui Minhai, the owner of Mighty Current, the publishing house that owns the bookstore, the SCMP reported. Missing person reports have been filed for three others, it said.

The disappearances have stoked fears of the mainland authorities using shadowy tactics that erode the one country, two systems formula under which Hong Kong has been governed since its return to Chinese rule from Britain in 1997.

Hong Kong police have classified Mr Lee's disappearance as a missing person case. Police have asked China whether Mr Lee has been detained on the mainland and are awaiting a reply, acting secretary for security John Lee said yesterday.

"If there is any indication that the missing person has surfaced at a location outside Hong Kong, the Hong Kong police will take actions to verify that information," he said.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2016, with the headline 'Protest over missing HK bookseller'. Print Edition | Subscribe