Pro-democracy leaders to press government as 5th Hong Kong bookseller vanishes

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers said Sunday that they will press the government for answers after a fifth employee of a publisher specializing in books critical of mainland China's leadership went missing.

See Full Article

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

While there's been no official word on what happened to the five missing people, Ho told reporters that it appears their disappearances are linked to the publisher'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.

It's not uncommon in mainland China for company executives and dissidents to be detained for lengthy periods by the authorities or vanish without anyone claiming responsibility, but the disappearances are unprecedented in Hong Kong and have shocked the city's publishing industry.

A few dozen protesters marched to Beijing's Liaison Office on Sunday to demand information about Lee, Mighty Current's chief editor. Lee, 65, is also one of the company's major shareholders, the South China Morning Post reported.

The company's co-owner, Gui Minhai, is also among those missing, as are three staff members.

Mighty Current and its Causeway Bay Bookstore are known for gossipy titles about Chinese political scandals and other sensitive issues popular with visiting tourists from the mainland.

Books by Mighty Current are banned on the mainland but are available in Hong Kong, which enjoys freedom of the press and other civil liberties unseen on the mainland because of its status as a specially administered region of China. However, the disappearances highlight growing concern that Beijing is moving to tighten its grip on the former British colony as President Xi Jinping moves to clamp down on dissent.

Hong Kong Acting Secretary for Security John Lee told reporters that police were "actively" investigating the case and would widen the scope of their probe.

The Hong Kong-Macau Affairs Office, which is under China's State Council, could not be reached Sunday for comment.

Lee went missing Wednesday evening and was last seen leaving his company's warehouse, according to local media reports.

His wife told the Cable TV news channel in a report broadcast Saturday that she received a phone call from him the night he disappeared. She said he told her then that he was "assisting an investigation" and alluded to the earlier disappearances, but was not more specific.

The number indicated the call came from Shenzhen, the mainland Chinese city next door to Hong Kong, the report said.

Associated Press writer Didi Tang in Beijing contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Alberta drug dealer gets lighter sentence due to 'humiliating' RCMP strip search

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- A small-time drug trafficker has been handed a lighter sentence after the judge ruled the man was forced to undergo a humiliating and degrading strip search by RCMP. Dylan Brown, 26, pleaded guilty in December to selling cocaine and meth worth about $120 to an undercover Mountie in Sherwood Park near Edmonton. Source
  • Sex reassignment inmate says women’s prison is ’torture’

    World News Toronto Sun
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The first U.S. inmate to have taxpayer-funded sex reassignment surgery says she is struggling since being transferred to a California women’s prison. In a federal court filing, convicted killer Shiloh Quine called her new housing a “torture unit. Source
  • Trump feels 'somewhat' vindicated after Nunes intel briefing

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Communications of Donald Trump's transition officials -- possibly including the incoming president himself -- may have been scooped up in legal surveillance but then improperly distributed throughout the intelligence community, the chairman of the House intelligence committee said Wednesday. Source
  • 1st U.S. sex reassignment inmate says women's prison is 'torture'

    World News CTV News
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The first U.S. inmate to have taxpayer-funded sex reassignment surgery says she's been mistreated since being transferred to a California women's prison, where she now has a beard and moustache because officials have denied her a razor. Source
  • Six teens plead guilty to sharing intimate images of girls

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - Six male youths in Nova Scotia have pleaded guilty to sharing intimate images of high school girls without their consent, concluding one of Canada's largest prosecutions involving a relatively untested and controversial law. Source
  • Oklahoma lawmaker charged with child prostitution resigns

    World News CTV News
    OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma legislator charged with hiring a 17-year-old boy for sex resigned on Wednesday, saying he didn't want to be a distraction to his fellow lawmakers. Republican Sen. Ralph Shortey was arrested last week on charges of engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of church. Source
  • Woman charged in hit-and-run death of her granddaughter

    World News Toronto Sun
    LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A woman was arrested after she backed a sport utility vehicle over her young granddaughter, killing her, police said Wednesday. Gwinnett County police arrested Gilma J. Ordonez-Guevara, 44, of Lawrenceville, on charges including vehicular homicide, hit and run, obstruction of a law enforcement officer and no license. Source
  • Agents in Puerto Rico seize 40,000 counterfeit condoms

    World News Toronto Sun
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Federal authorities in Puerto Rico say they have seized more than 40,000 counterfeit condoms that allegedly came from China. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Wednesday that it could not provide further details because the investigation is ongoing. Source
  • Canada's smoking rate falls slightly

    Canada News CBC News
    The number of Canadians who smoke tobacco appears to be dropping, a national survey suggests. The Canadian Community Health Survey, released Wednesday, found 17.7 per cent of Canadians aged 12 and older — or roughly 5.3 million people — smoked either daily or occasionally in 2015, down slightly from 18.1 per cent a year earlier. Source
  • Ryan's legacy as speaker on line with U.S. health care vote

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The vote on the Republican health care bill is a defining moment for House Speaker Paul Ryan that could boost his aggressive agenda to overhaul the tax code and remake the federal government. Source