One of five “missing” Hong Kong booksellers who was detained on the mainland returned to the city Friday and met police, the government said, in a case that has provoked fears of increasing Chinese interference in the semi-autonomous region.
Lui Por, who has been missing since October, was among three of the booksellers who Hong Kong police said earlier this week would be released on bail.
“Police met with Lui Por, who returned to Hong Kong from the mainland, this morning,” a brief government statement released late Friday said.
“Lui requested to have his missing persons case closed and expressed that there was no need for assistance from the Hong Kong government or police,” it said, adding he refused to provide any more information.
Hong Kong police had said that Lui and his counterparts Cheung Chi Ping and Lam Wing Kee, would all be released on bail. However, police on Friday were not able to immediately provide information about Lam and Cheung when contacted by AFP.
Two of five missing booksellers believed to have been held in China have returned to Hong Kong, the Hong Kong police said Sunday.
Cheung Chi Ping requested the police to cancel his missing persons case, two days after his fellow bookseller Lui Por returned to Hong Kong also asking police to close his missing persons case.
Both men requested no further help from the government or police and “refused to disclose other details,” according to police statements.
All five men were involved with publisher Mighty Current and its shop Causeway Bay Books, which sold gossipy titles about China’s elite.
The disappearance of the booksellers sparked outrage in Hong Kong and internationally over fears they were taken against their will in December by Beijing authorities. Thousands of people demonstrated in Hong Kong to demand their return.
Hong Kong authorities have said China was holding some of the men. China has repeatedly said its officials wouldn’t do anything illegal.
Lui Por and associates Cheung Chi-ping, Lam Wing-kee and Gui Minhai appeared on television Sunday admitting to “illegal book trading” in China.
Gui Minhai, the owner of Hong Kong publisher Mighty Current, ordered thousands of “unauthorized” books sent to mainland China, the other men said.