Hong Kong police receives reply from mainland regarding Lee Bo

Hong Kong police receives reply from mainland regarding Lee Bo

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Earlier this month, a protester wearing a mask of missing bookseller Lee Bo stands in a cage during a protest against the disappearances of booksellers in Hong Kong.
Photo: AP

Hong Kong police have written to Guangdong security officials asking for a meeting with Lee Bo after they were finally informed that the missing local bookseller was on the mainland.

Police said late on Monday night they had received a written reply to their enquiries about Lee, who disappeared from Hong Kong last month. A disappearance that had created suspicion that Lee had been taken away by mainland agents for selling books critical of China’s ruling Communist Party.

Also enclosed in the correspondence from the Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department was a letter from Lee to the Hong Kong government, which police said was similar to the last one received by the bookseller’s wife. In that letter, Lee says again that he is helping with investigations and blamed one of his missing associates, Gui Minhai, for getting him involved in the case.

A source told the Post there was no mention of three other booksellers whose whereabouts remain unknown.

Young Post spoke to Amnesty International's Hong Kong director, Mabel Au, today, who said they were highly concerned about the bookseller disappearances.

"After Lee disappeared, we believed the 'One Country, Two System' had been shattered because the Immigration Department didn't have his record of going back to mainland. His Home Return Permit is still in Hong Kong. It's really doubtful whether the missing booksellers, including Lee Bo and Gui Minhai, voluntarily went to the mainland"

Further, Amnesty International says it's unclear whether Lee and Gui can be cateforised as prisoners of conscience, who "have been jailed because of their political, religious or other conscientiously-held beliefs" 

"We can't categorise them as the prisoners of conscience because they hadn't been charged with anything," says Au. "We dont' have enough information about them at the moment so we don't know if they meet the criteria of the prisoners of conscience."

The mystery of the missing booksellers has triggered a diplomatic tussle, with Sweden demanding “openness” from Beijing and mainland officials still keeping everyone in the dark.

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