Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Evidence of Contradictions

Lee emailed Gui's daughter to tell her what may have happened to him
The big story today was the revelation in an email that bookseller Lee Po feared that his colleague Gui Minhai had been abducted by mainland agents, only to deny this later.

In an email dated November 10, Lee wrote to Gui's daughter Angela about her father Michael's disappearance.

Subject: Michael is missing

Hi Angela,

I am Paul Lee [Po], Michael's business partner, who had lunch with you and Michael last year in Hong Kong.

In the email Lee sounded concerned for Gui Minhai's fate
I write to you concerning the whereabouts of Michael. I wonder if you have known that he has been missing for more than 20 days, we fear that he was taken by special agents from China for political reasons.

We last talked to Michael by email on 15 October, and after that day, nobody could contact him. He was then staying in his apartment in Thailand. According to [Gui's wife]'s words told by the watchman of the building, he left the apartment with several men who claimed to be his friends.

Since we feel [Gui's wife] is hesitating and is not doing anything at the moment, and it's very little we can do to help him because we are not his next of kin. I then think of you, perhaps you can do something, and there are a lot of Michael's friends [who] are ready to help if you need them.

Do tell me what you think and what you want us to do.

Best,

Paul Lee

The email contradicts what Lee has said to Hong Kong authorities and on state television. He wrote a letter to his wife Sophie Choi Ka-ping, blaming Gui for his predicament and describing him as a "morally unacceptable person" who had a "complicated personal history".

Up until now, the Hong Kong government has maintained there was no evidence of cross-border law enforcement being undertaken over the disappearance. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said such acts of law enforcement by mainland authorities in Hong Kong would be unacceptable as it would go against the Basic Law that protects the city's freedoms.

Meanwhile Lee's wife ordered the destruction of some 45,000 books that were critical of the Communist Party of China, in the hopes it would hasten the release of Po. But it seems like nothing has happened.

The publication of this email affirms the public's skepticism of what Lee said after his abduction to the mainland.

However, this may make it even harder for the remaining booksellers to come back. It's a sad prospect, but at least we know Lee knew what he was getting himself into, and seems like he too was scared.

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