Sunday, 3 January 2016

Chilling Disappearances in Hong Kong

Five people associated with Causeway Books have "disappeared"
Hong Kong people are alarmed about news on how five people associated with an anti-Communist bookstore in Causeway Bay have been mysteriously disappeared from Hong Kong and their families cannot get in contact with them.

The fifth and latest one is Lee Bo, 65, a majority shareholder in Causeway Books disappeared on Wednesday, though his wife has heard from him in a strange phone call.

Local police told Lee's wife they had no record of him leaving the city, and a Chinese media report said that she found his return home permit at home.

However, Lee called his wife the night he disappeared, telling her he was in Shenzhen.

"He said he will not be coming back anytime soon. He said he was assisting an investigation. I asked him if it was about the previous cases, he said yes. It was about the missing [associates]."

The bookseller specialized in books critical of the CPC
She said he later called her again and asked her not to make a scene. "I guess it was the Shenzhen police."

Another thing she found odd was that her husband spoke to her in Putonghua instead of Cantonese, and the caller ID was a Shenzhen number, which made her conclude that Shenzhen police had taken her husband from Hong Kong across the border.

When Lee said "Shenzhen", Mrs Lee said he struggled to finish the sentence and she had a feeling that he was told not to say anything else. She also heard a voice in the background saying, "there will be no problems if you cooperate".

Lee called her again yesterday, and when Mrs Lee said, "Let me talk to them", the phone was immediately hung up.

The four other people who have disappeared are: Gui Minhai, owner of Mighty Current, the publishing house that owns the bookstore, who went missing while on holiday in Thailand; bookstore manager Lam Wing-kei; general manager of the publishing house Lui Bo; and business manager Cheung Jiping.

The situation is chilling and illustrates how "one country, two systems" is not working properly. Under Basic Law, mainland officers have no right to exercise the law in Hong Kong, nor make arrests.

These Shenzhen officers would claim they didn't make any arrests, but detained someone for questioning.

And how does the Hong Kong government react? Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the police were already looking into the case, and the Security Bureau would not comment on "speculative reports".

Hardly supportive.

This is not a good sign for Hong Kong's future -- it is not even 2047 yet and people are being "disappeared" from the city. Also shocking was the case of two Chinese dissidents who had fled to Thailand and had papers that would give them asylum in Canada, and yet were forcibly repatriated back to the mainland.

China's tentacles are reaching far beyond its borders and is only interested in its own affairs without regard for the laws of other countries and cities. In the case of Hong Kong, it seems to have its own definition of what the city's relationship is with the motherland, regardless of the Basic Law.

Dissenters are forewarned -- Freedom of speech and the press are under threat because Hong Kong's mainlandization is happening faster than we expected...

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