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China confirms three missing Hong Kong booksellers under probe

Friday, February 5, 2016 - 07:51
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Three missing men linked to a Hong Kong store that sells books critical of China's Communist Party elite were confirmed to be under investigation by Chinese police for "illegal activities," according to the Hong Kong police.

[HONG KONG] Three missing men linked to a Hong Kong store that sells books critical of China's Communist Party elite were confirmed to be under investigation by Chinese police for "illegal activities," according to the Hong Kong police.

The police in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong confirmed that the booksellers Lui Por, Cheung Chi Ping and Lam Wing Kee are under investigation for "illegal activities" in relation to another publisher, Gui Minhai, the Hong Kong police said in statement on the government's website late Thursday. "Criminal compulsory measures" were imposed on them, the statement said.

Another bookseller, Lee Bo, informed the Hong Kong police in a letter sent by the Guangdong police he declined to meet the Hong Kong police at the moment. Mr Lee's wife confirmed his handwriting. Chinese police confirmed Jan 18 Mr Lee was in China.

The five men linked to the bookstore began disappearing in October, raising concerns in Hong Kong that China is encroaching on its autonomy. The official Xinhua News Agency reported earlier Gui Minhai is in custody on the mainland after surrendering to police over a fatal traffic accident that occurred more than a decade ago.

Hong Kong police said they replied to the Guangdong police saying that they want to follow up on the booksellers' situation and asked Mr Lee for a meeting as soon as possible.

BLOOMBERG