Talks with Bei­jing over book­seller’s al­lega­tions

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A SE­NIOR Hong Kong del­e­ga­tion will head to Bei­jing for talks fol­low­ing ex­plo­sive rev­e­la­tions by a book­seller who said he was detained for eight months on the main­land, the city’s leader said yes­ter­day.

Lam Wing-kee, 61, has said he was seized af­ter cross­ing the bor­der into the south­ern Chi­nese city of Shen­zhen, taken away blind­folded and then kept in a cell with­out ac­cess to a lawyer for al­leged in­volve­ment in bring­ing banned books into the main­land.

The case has laid bare grow­ing anx­i­ety that the semi-au­ton­o­mous city’s free­doms are dis­ap­pear­ing.

Mr Lam was one of five em­ploy­ees of a Hong Kong firm – which pub­lished gos­sipy books about lead­ing Chi­nese politi­cians – to go mys­te­ri­ously miss­ing last year. All later emerged in main­land China.

Hong Kong’s Bei­jing-backed chief ex­ec­u­tive Le­ung Chun-ying said a team of se­nior of­fi­cials would visit Bei­jing to­day to dis­cuss Mr Lam’s case and re­view the “ex­ist­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tion mech­a­nism be­tween the two places”.

Un­der that mech­a­nism, au­thor­i­ties on the main­land are re­quired to give clear de­tails about ar­rests and de­ten­tions of Hong Kong cit­i­zens over the bor­der, a pro­ce­dure crit­ics say went dis­as­trously wrong in the book­sell­ers’ case.

“[Of­fi­cials] will go to Bei­jing ... [and] meet with rel­e­vant de­part­ments in or­der to im­prove the ex­ist­ing mech­a­nism,” Mr Le­ung told re­porters.

He added main­land au­thor­i­ties would also brief the Hong Kong of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing the city’s jus­tice and se­cu­rity min­is­ters as well as heads of po­lice and im­mi­gra­tion, on Mr Lam’s case.

Mr Lam was due to lead a pro-democ­racy march on July 1 to mark the 19th an­niver­sary of the city’s han­dover from Bri­tain to China, but pulled out at the last minute cit­ing a “se­ri­ous threat” to his se­cu­rity. – Peo­ple ride in a tra­di­tional boat dur­ing a dol­phin-watch­ing ex­cur­sion at sun­rise in the wa­ters off Lov­ina beach in Sin­garaja on Bali is­land yes­ter­day. Dol­phin watch­ing is one of the more pop­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties near Lov­ina beach, a thriv­ing tourist des­ti­na­tion on the north­ern coast of Bali is­land.

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