Hong Kong demands answers as booksellers go missing

Albert Ho fears the sellers were kidnapped by China. Picture: AFP/Getty
Albert Ho fears the sellers were kidnapped by China. Picture: AFP/Getty
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Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers said yesterday that they will press the government for answers after a fifth employee of a publisher specialising in books critical of mainland China’s leadership went missing.

Lawmaker Albert Ho said the city was “shocked and appalled” by the disappearance of Lee Bo. Like the four others who disappeared in recent months, Lee is associated with publisher Mighty Current.

While there’s been no official confirmation on the status of the five missing people, Ho said that it appears their disappearances are linked to the company’s books.

“From the available information surrounding the disappearance of Mr Lee Bo and his partners earlier, we have strong reason to believe that Mr Lee Bo was probably kidnapped and then smuggled back to the mainland for political investigation,” Ho said.

Mighty Current and its Causeway Bay Bookstore are known for gossipy titles about Chinese political scandals and other sensitive issues that are popular with visiting tourists from the mainland. The company’s co-owner, Gui Minhai, is among those missing, as are three staff members.

Mighty Current books are banned on the mainland but not in Hong Kong which has press freedom.