Thursday, 7 January 2016

Mystery of Bookseller's Disappearance Deepens

Lee and four other associates are still missing and no credible news available
The mystery of bookseller Lee Bo's disappearance along with four others associated with either Causeway Bay Books or Mighty Current publishing company continues, and the outlandish information so far just continues to not only illustrate how inaccurate people can be, but also no one has any correct answers.

The latest rumour was from pro-Beijing lawmaker Ng Leung-sing, who represents the finance sector.

He had the gall to tell the media that Lee went to the mainland to visit prostitutes -- without checking if this rumour was correct or not -- or with any evidence to prove this point. Ng later apologized to Lee's wife Sophie Choi Ka-ping, but she refused it. She could sue him for libel. Or Lee himself could -- if he resurfaces.

But think about it -- as Civic Party's Claudia Mo Man-ching says: why would someone smuggle themselves to the mainland to have some fun? And why would he go anyway when he thought he would be safer in Hong Kong?

Lee's wife (right) believes the letter is written by her husband
The longer Lee and his associates do not show themselves, the greater Hong Kong people's fears are about the erosion of "one country, two systems" and their personal freedoms.

Another strange twist was that Choi had filed a missing person's report on her husband with the police, but withdrew it the other day when she received a handwritten letter believed to be in Lee's handwriting.

In the letter that was published by Central New Agency, Lee claimed he went to the mainland "in his own way" and was assisting in an investigation that "may take a while".

Why would he go to the mainland "in his own way" when he left his return home permit at home?

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying finally expressed concern about the case, stating investigators would continue looking into the case even though Choi had withdrawn her missing person's request.

He said it was unacceptable and unconstitutional for mainland agencies to enforce the law in Hong Kong.

Philip Hammond asks WangYi about Lee's case in Beijing
Meanwhile British foreign secretary Philip Hammond brought up Lee Bo's case while visiting Beijing, saying it was not acceptable for "someone to be spirited out of Hong Kong" to face charges elsewhere.

But Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Lee "is first and foremost a Chinese citizen", and warned against "groundless speculation".

If Wang wants to end rumours, why not tell us where Lee is then? The bookseller may be ethnically Chinese, but he is first and foremost a Hong Kong citizen. Perhaps in 2046 he will be a Chinese citizen.

The five may be in trouble regarding an upcoming book that allegedly details the Chinese President's previous relationships.

And it was because Hong Kong has such fundamental rights as freedom of speech and media that people can express their own opinions about whatever they want, including being critical of the Chinese government.

However, this case is proving more and more this [being critical of Beijing] is not acceptable, and is already seemingly treating the city like any other mainland metropolis.

As a result, if the allegations are true that Lee and his associates were kidnapped across the border against their will, Hong Kong people are going to be even more terrified of the Communist government they were trying to flee before 1997.

This is the worst kind of public relations Beijing should want in the city, and the Chinese trying to flex its muscles because it was not impressed with what happened last year with the Occupy protests is not going to make things better.

Also worth noting is Leung's response -- a bit late, but interesting for him to stop short of condemning what may have possibly happened to Lee and his associates. Leung is the CE of Hong Kong. Surely he has enough clout to call Beijing and ask what's really going on.

This is why we need someone to represent the interests of Hong Kong and stand up to Beijing.

But in reality this is not what is happening and we can only hope Lee and his associates will eventually show up. We really need to know what happened to them, the sooner the better.


  1. A protest march to the Liason Office is being planned for this Sunday (starting at 2pm from Tim Mei Avenue in Admiralty). Will you be taking part?