“Everything is normal.” Why are Hong Kong’s Booksellers Disappearing?

Lee Bo and at least four other booksellers peddling books critical of China’s government have disappeared according to NPR.  Hong Kong is unused to such abductions, normal of the mainland, and usually of those who voice dissent. But five booksellers have gone missing in the last three months, and pro government politicians claims that the media is exaggerating the situation are wearing thin. One such politician, without mentioning her source, claimed Lee voluntarily entered the mainland to buy prostitutes. A strange claim since he left his papers at home, and Mainland China is known to be a stickler for that kind of paperwork.

Lee’s real crime seems to have been printing salacious gossip about senior party officials on the mainland, an offense that may triggered those officials to call for his kidnapping and detainment even if it endangered the delicate relationship between the mainland and the relatively freer Hong Kong.

In a hand written to his wife, which she believes to be real, Lee wrote from parts unknown that he was “assisting an investigation” and “I am fine right now.”

“Everything is normal,’ he concluded.

The whereabouts the other four owners of Causeway Bay Books remain unknown.

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