Hong Kong activists vow to lodge complaint with UN over missing booksellers
Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China also plans march on Sunday to demand explanation from Beijing
Police yesterday stepped up the effort to search for one of the five missing booksellers by visiting the Causeway Bay bookstore and the Chai Wan warehouse where the missing co-owner was last seen.
The move, which was made after Causeway Bay Books’ and Mighty Current’s co-owner Lee Bo’s family filed the missing person’s report to the police on January 1 and their disappearance elevated to an international level with British and Taiwan political leaders speaking up on the issue over the past two days.
A few plain-clothed police officers were seen going to the bookstore yesterday afternoon. It is understood that an associate of the bookstore is assisting the police investigation.
The bookstore, which is frequented by mainland visitors for their books on political gossips and scandals that are banned across the border, remained closed to the public yesterday.
Separately, around 20 police tactical unit officers were making rounds outside the Chai Wan warehouse yesterday afternoon where Lee was last seen on December 30.
The officers went door to door around the block on which the warehouse was located, asking garage shop workers, security guards and minibus drivers whether they had seen or heard anything unusual or suspicious on Wednesday night last week.
A worker said: “They came and asked us if anything unusual happened outside the factory, and if we’d heard anyone screaming or crying for help.”
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“But it’s so noisy with all the machines in the factory and we’re concentrated on our work so we usually don’t really notice anything.”
A middle-aged man who worked on the same floor where Mighty Current’s publishing office was located in the warehouse told the Post that Lee was rarely seen.
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A police officer said the force was trying to ascertain if anyone would be able to provide any clues or had witnessed what happened last week.
Police did not disclose information whether they had previously mobilised officers in the area to investigate Lee’s disappearance.
Lee’s colleagues Cheung Ji-ping, Lui Bo and Lam Wing-kei went missing in October while they were in Shenzhen and the fourth, Gui Minhai, disappeared from Pattaya in Thailand.
Lee’s wife, Sophie Choi Ka-ping, withdrew her report to the police after a handwritten letter she believed to be from her husband was faxed to his colleague, saying he returned to the mainland “in his own way” to work with concerned parties in an investigation. Lee had left behind his home return permit.
Meanwhile, Albert Ho Chun-yan, chairman of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, said the group is planning to report the case to the United Nation’s Committee on Enforced Disappearances to urge Beijing for an answer.
The committee will report to the UN’s General Assembly on its observations if it follows up on the case, as Ho said Lee was likely to have fallen victim to a “political kidnap”.
The alliance will also organise a march on Sunday, from the Hong Kong government’s headquarters in Admiralty to Beijing’s liaison office in Western District.