Missing bookseller prompts protests in Hong Kong

Hong Kong bookseller’s disappearance sparks protests outside Beijing representative office. Julie Noce reports.

(Reuters) – A small group of demonstrators gathered in front of the Beijing representative office in Hong Kong on Sunday to protest the disappearance of a bookseller who specialises in publications that are critical of the Communist Party.

In the past two months, five people linked to either the Causeway Bay Books store or the Mighty Current publishing house, which owns the store, have gone missing.

The most recent …. 65-year-old Lee Bo, who is a major shareholder of the store. His wife told local media that he vanished on Wednesday while getting books from his warehouse.

He then called her from a number in mainland China, she said, to tell her that he was ok, but didn’t reveal his location.

The disappearances have stoked fears that mainland Chinese authorities are undermining the city’s constitutional guarantees of personal freedoms and independent law enforcement.

The book store sells paperbacks that are highly critical of Chinese leadership in Beijing and often contain details of the private lives of senior leaders and their families.

While the books are banned in mainland China, local media said they are popular with Chinese tourists visiting Hong Kong.