HONG KONG authorities say they have received confirmation from Chinese security officials that a bookseller whose disappearance three weeks ago raised international concern is in the mainland.
Hong Kong police said late Monday that they received notice from Guangdong province’s public security department that Lee Bo was “understood” to be in mainland China.
Guangdong officials were replying to a request by Hong Kong police for information on Lee.
He and four other people linked to a Hong Kong publishing company and its bookshop had gone missing in recent months.
The publishing firm specialized in books banned in mainland China for being critical of its communist leadership.
Lee’s case in particular raised alarm bells because it raised suspicions that Chinese security agents crossed into Hong Kong to abduct him.
On Monday, Chinese state media said another missing Hong Kong book publisher surrendered months ago to mainland authorities.
Gui Minhai, who was paraded on Chinese TV at the weekend, said that he surrendered in October, 10 years after he fled China after killing a woman while driving drunk, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
“I am taking my legal responsibilities, and am willing to accept any punishment,” he said.
Doubts have been raised over Gui’s confession, with Human Rights Watch’s Maya Wang telling the Wall Street Journal: “Given that Gui has been held nearly three months incommunicado, in a secret location, and without a lawyer, his confession on state-controlled TV lacks credibility.”
Additional reporting from Associated Press