Search on for missing executives of HK publisher of banned books

November 16, 2015 16:10
Gui Minhai (inset), whose publishing firm owns Causeway Bay Books (arrowed), is one of four people from the company who have disappeared. Photos: Google Maps, internet

Police and the Immigration Department are searching for three executives of a local publisher specializing in politically sensitive books and the manager of the firm's bookstore, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.

The four people were reported missing one after another about a month ago, shocking the city’s publishing industry

Gui Minhai, a mainland China-born Swedish national who owns the publishing company Mighty Current, founded in 2012, was last contacted on Oct. 14, his daughter, who is living in Britain, said.

Worried about his safety, she said she had been trying to reach him for weeks before she learned of his disappearance from the media several days ago.

The other two executives, surnamed Lui and Cheung, and the bookstore manager, surnamed Lam, are permanent residents of Hong Kong.

Mighty Current produces books that are critical of mainland leaders and reveal their deep secrets and sells them at the bookstore, named Causeway Bay Books.

The books are said to be popular with visitors from the mainland, where 90 percent of them are banned.

Lam’s son said his father founded the bookstore in 1994 before selling it to Mighty Current last year.

Hong Kong law enforcement authorities have contacted their mainland counterparts regarding the missing people but have yet to receive a reply.

An unnamed source told the newspaper some of the missing foursome were taken away by mainland police.

A shareholder of the publisher, surnamed Lee, said the bookstore is still operating.

Richard Choi Yiu-cheong, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, was quoted as saying it is hard not to associate the disappearance of the four people with Beijing’s suppression of banned books.

Choi said his organization will present the case to the United Nations Committee Against Torture next week in Geneva.

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