Hong Kong bookseller disappearances

New claim Lee Bo sent a video and a letter to his wife saying his visit to mainland was ‘personal decision’

Pro-establishment newspaper makes claim it has seen a video and letter sent from missing Hong Kong bookseller Lee Bo to his wife, purporting to say his visit to the mainland was his own choice and he “did not understand why it was made into such a big deal”

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 January, 2016, 11:26am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 January, 2016, 11:49pm

The plot thickens in the alarming disappearance of five people related to the Hong Kong bookstore which sells books banned in mainland China, after a pro-establishment newspaper claimed the wife of bookseller, Lee Bo, received yet another letter and a video of her husband yesterday, where he reiterated that returning to the mainland was a “personal conduct”.

The five disappearances have garnered international attention, with both the European Union and the United States expressing concern over the missing persons all linked to Causeway Bay Books, a bookstore known for selling reading materials critical of the Chinese Communist Party.

The revelation comes with Headline Daily, sister newspaper to Sing Tao Daily and owned by Charles Ho Tsu-kwok – a national committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference – reported yesterday Lee, in a new letter and video, said it was his own decision to return to the mainland and that he “did not understand why it was made into such a big deal”.

The report only quoted “sources” without giving more details.

The fact the screenshot and details of the video

Headline Daily did not show a clip of the said video either, but quoted Lee in his alleged new letter, saying he was “perplexed and puzzled” warned Hongkongers staging a protest not to take advantage of his situation.

The full translation of the letter purporting to have been sent from Lee Bo reads:

I have noticed some people in Hong Kong are recently planning a march because of me, and this leaves me perplexed and puzzled.

I have already reiterated that my visit to mainland this time is entirely my personal decision in order to get an understanding of some personal issues. It is none of anyone’s business. I do not understand why it is made into such a big deal.

Regardless of your intention, do not ever wish to take advantage of it. Your behaviours have already severely disrupted the daily lives of me and my family, we are under great pressure and feel mentally and physically exhausted. How could I return to Hong Kong in such atmosphere?

I appeal to everyone to bear in mind the interest of me and my family, respect my choice and privacy. Stop making a big deal about this issue. That is the way to show the real concern and care for me.

Lee Bo

The five people – Lee Bo, Gui Minhai, Lui Por, Cheung Ji-ping and Lam Wing-kei – have separately gone missing since October, with the latest incident involving Lee. He was last seen in Mighty Current’s Chai Wan warehouse on December 30.

All five are shareholders or staff of Causeway Bay Books.

The United States said on Friday it was disturbed by reports of the missing Hong Kong booksellers and was closely following the case.

“We are disturbed by reports of the disappearances,” U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a regular news briefing on Friday.

“We share the concern of the people of Hong Kong regarding these disappearances.”

Kirby said the United States had shared the concerns noted by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying earlier about the potential political implications of the case.