The US State Department has criticised the disappearances of five Hong Kong men connected to Causeway Bay Books, which sold books critical of mainland leaders and the Chinese Communist Party, RTHK reported.
In its annual human rights report, the department said credible reports have given rise to widespread suspicions that mainland security officials were involved in their disappearances.
The Hong Kong government responded by urging foreign governments not to interfere in the city’s internal affairs.
A government spokesman said in a statement that law enforcement officers outside the city do not have the authority to enforce laws inside it.
The US report also said Hong Kong people have limited ability to participate in and change their government through free and fair elections.
It expressed concern over limits on freedom of the press, as well as restrictions on academic freedom.
The report cited the decision by the council of the University of Hong Kong to reject the appointment of former law dean and pro-democracy scholar Johannes Chan Man-mun, as a pro vice chancellor.
It said the rejection of Chan, who was recommended by the university’s search committee, raised concern that council members had bowed to pressure from the Chief Executive’s Office and the central government.
The Hong Kong government spokesman said academic freedom and freedom of the press are guaranteed by the Basic Law.
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