Hong Kong opposition lawmakers protested on Sunday outside Beijing’s representative office over Lee’s disappearance. He did not respond to a question on whether the booksellers had been detained by Chinese authorities.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, on a visit to Beijing, said he pressed officials for information on Lee.
Shares of New World Development and New World China were halted from trading yesterday, pending an announcement related to a takeover or merger, according to separate statements to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
“It might take a bit of time”, it said. Hong Kong’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, spoke to the media on Monday, saying that, according to the Basic Law, the law enforcement agencies of Hong Kong have the sole authority to enforce laws throughout the territory.
A protester holds a photo of missing bookseller Lee Bo during a protest outside the Liaison of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong, Sunday.
“He thought it was quite safe in Hong Kong”. “If it is confirmed that officials are involved, that would make the case even worse”. His wife said the letter appeared genuine, and that she had withdrawn her request for police help in finding her husband. But his Home Return Permit, the document for Hong Kongers to go to the mainland, was at home, meaning that he had entered the mainland via unofficial channels.
A colleague of Lam, the bookstore manager, reportedly said the missing man phoned his wife in Hong Kong in early November to say he was “alright”, but that he would be staying for a while in an undisclosed location. “He said he was assisting in an investigation”, she said. “I think it’s a charade performed under duress”, Claudia Mo, a lawmaker with the pro-democracy Civic Party, told the Washington Post.
Causeway Bay Books, in operation since 1994, is known for distributing banned, politically-revealing books that otherwise go uncirculated in mainland China.
Lee and four other people associated with publisher Mighty Current, which specializes in books critical of China’s Communist Party leaders, have vanished in recent months.
Numerous books focus on political intrigue and infighting in the corridors of power, and gossip about the exploits of leaders’ families. “The law protects the rights, including the freedom and safety of everybody in Hong Kong”.
Swedish police are investigating the disappearance, with the country’s embassies in Bangkok and Beijing working on the case, said Anna Ekberg, a press officer with Sweden’s Foreign Ministry.
But the nationalist Global Times newspaper had heard the news.
In an interview with RFA, Ho said the case of the missing booksellers is the latest in a long line of assaults on Hong Kong’s traditional freedom of expression and publication. But it simultaneously launched an attack on the publishers.
Asked if China would recognise Mr Lee’s British passport, he said: “Based on the Basic Law of Hong Kong and China’s nationality law, this person in question is first and foremost a Chinese citizen”.
Hong Kong was guaranteed freedom of speech when it won independence from Britain in 1997 and joined China under the “one country, two systems” arrangement.
Last week, he vanished and was seen in Hong Kong. They will also be making investigation with people who have last conversation or communication with the missing person.
Lee Bo is one of five Hong Kong publishing executives said to have disappeared due to their links to a book about the Chinese president.
“This could happen to anybody”, he said. “So many people on the streets, how will they abduct anyone?'”