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Hong Kong: local anger grows as five people mysteriously disappear

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Hong Kong: local anger grows as five people mysteriously disappear
  • *Thousands demonstrate in Hong Kong
  • *Five people are missing
  • *All have links with a local publisher
  • *Causeway Bay Books publishes work critical of leadership in Beijing

The news

Thousands of people have once more taken to the streets of Hong Kong.

Demands are growing for information about five missing people who all have links with a local publisher.

Causeway Bay Books produces work critical of the leadership in Beijing.

65-year-old Lee Bo was the latest to disappear in late December.

What are they saying?

“It is a turning point for suppression of our freedom, because how can it be that a person in Hong Kong exercises their rights and then is kidnapped and taken to China for investigation?” – Lee Cheuk-Yan, co-organiser, legislator and Chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.

“Today the victim is Lee Bo, tomorrow there is a chance it could be me or you who is arrested and taken to China. So we need to come out and protect our ‘One Country, Two Systems’ ideology.” – demonstrator Catherine Lim

The US State Department says it is “concerned” by news of the disappearances.

The European Union says it is “extremely worried” and has revealed that two of the disappeared had Swedish and British nationality.

The context

A former British colony, Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997.

It is constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and autonomy from Beijing for 50 years.

However, the series of disappearances has led to suspicions that mainland law enforcement officers are ignoring the law.

Lee Bo told Reuters in November that the “only possible reason” for the disappearances of his associates was because of a new book they were working on.

It has been described as an expose on Xi Jinping’s love life.

Lee declined to give specific details at the time.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Chinese government office in Hong Kong and tied yellow ribbons to the railings.

The related authorities in Beijing have not responded to requests for comment.