Hong Kong activist goes missing on mainland after texting wife 'I am in trouble'

Yang Kuang thought to be in the hands of mainland authorities after previous detentions

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 December, 2013, 11:12am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 January, 2014, 2:24am

Rights activist and Diaoyu Islands campaigner Yang Kuang was missing in Shenzhen last night, with his mainland wife fearing he has been seized by the authorities.

Yang, who was twice detained on the mainland last year after attempting to visit the wife of a jailed dissident, has not been seen since 9pm on Monday, his wife, Liu Shasha, said.

Guangzhou-born Yang was one of eight Hong Kong activists who in 2012 evaded the Japanese coastguard to land on the uninhabited Diaoyu Islands, the first landing by Hong Kong activists in 16 years.

His last contact with Liu was a text message saying he was "in trouble", she wrote on her Facebook page yesterday. He was returning to Hong Kong through the Lo Wu border checkpoint after visiting his wife at her home in Henan province, and meeting other activists campaigning to assert Chinese sovereignty over the disputed Diaoyus.

"[I] believe he has been taken by Shenzhen national security guards and immigration officers," Liu said.

She said she would rush to Shenzhen to investigate, while friends in Shenzhen would continue to liaise with the authorities there to find out what had happened to her husband. There had been no word from the authorities so far, she added.

"All friends, please spread the word and call the Hong Kong government for help. I am worrying like crazy," she said.

A spokesman for Hong Kong's Immigration Department said yesterday that it was aware of the situation and was trying to find out more through the city's Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong.

In March last year, Yang was briefly held by mainland authorities for "provoking quarrels and making trouble" after a failed attempt to visit Liu Xia , wife of jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo . She has been under house arrest since 2010, the year her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize. "Provoking quarrels and making trouble" is widely seen as an excuse used by police to arrest dissidents.

Yang was held again later the same month in Shenzhen after crossing into the mainland by sea. His home-return permit was revoked following his previous arrest.