Daughter of missing Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai hopeful after return of Lam Wing-kee
Yet Angela Gui remains worried, claiming never to have received official confirmation of her father’s detention eight months after he vanished
Angela Gui, daughter of one of the five Hong Kong booksellers who went missing, has expressed hope that the status and whereabouts of her father Gui Minhai will emerge following the release this week of Lam Wing-kee.
The case of Gui, the last of the Causeway Bay publishers yet to emerge free, could grow more complex following Lam’s explosive revelations on Thursday that he was abducted and detained by mainland authorities.
Speaking to CNN on Thursday after Lam’s press conference, Angela Gui said: “I really hope that this recent news about Lam Wing-kee being released means that we will have news about my father soon as well.”
But she expressed concern over the length of time that has transpired since her father went missing in Pattaya, Thailand, in October last year.
“It makes me feel very worried because it’s been eight months and I still haven’t had any official confirmation that he is in detention,” she said, noting that Swedish consular officials were allowed to visit him in February.
The 22-year-old, currently studying in the United Kingdom, also recounted the calls and messages she received from her father pressuring her to stop campaigning for his freedom and to “just stay quiet”. Gui testified last month at a US congressional hearing examining Beijing’s role in silencing critics, and stated that she believed mainland authorities were exerting pressure on her father.
At the hearing she called for the international community to challenge Beijing.
Gui came forward after she received an email from Lee Po, another bookseller who went missing, disclosing that her father had been “taken by special agents from China for political reasons.”
In January, the elder Gui was paraded on state television issuing a confession in which he stated he had surrendered himself to mainland authorities over a drink-driving accident in Ningbo in Zhejiang province in 2004.
He was later accused of ordering his associates to deliver about 4,000 banned books across the border since October 2014.
The younger Gui believed she would not be harmed while studying in the UK, but said she had been advised not to travel to Asia for risk of encountering a fate similar to that of her father.
“My life has obviously changed since my father was abducted, and I am much more careful about what personal information I give out,” she said. “I have been advised not to travel to Asia at all which has been very hard to come to terms with as most of my family lives there. But I don’t think anything will happen to me.”