A Hong Kong bookseller linked to a publisher critical of the Chinese government has gone missing.
In the last two months, Lee Bo is the fifth individual having links with the bookshop to have gone missing.
Legislator Albert Ho said Chinese security forces abducted five employees of the publishing company for their involvement in planning a book talking about the former love life of President Xi Jinping. “To my knowledge … the book concerns the story about the girlfriend … [from] some years ago,” he said. “There were warnings given to the owners not to publish this book. This book has not yet gone to print, but probably it has something to do with this book.”
“Hong Kong people are very shocked and appalled,” Ho said, adding that it was “outrageous” for Bo to have disappeared. “We have a reason to believe he was politically abducted and illegally transferred to the mainland,” he said.
“Obviously their enforced disappearance and detention was due to the publication of a series of politically sensitive books,” he said. “And most of these books, or all these books, are strongly critical of the current communist regime.”
According to ABC.net.au, these five individuals work for the publishing house known to publish books that criticize the Chinese government.
Bo, 65, disappeared Friday, months after the first four disappearances. His wife said he told her he was “assisting in an investigation.” The call, she said after she reported him missing, had come from a number in the neighboring Chinese city of Shenzhen.
Hong Kong Police have asked the Chinese authorities about the bookseller. In a news conference, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, said that only local authorities could enforce the law under “One Country, Two Systems” framework.
“The possible intrusion into Hong Kong by law enforcement agencies in China would shatter the sense of security that is provided by One Country, Two Systems,” Ho said, as reported by Bloomberg. “If that sense of security is being shattered, then the underlying confidence in ‘One Country, Two Systems’ would be torn apart.”