根據聯合國大會1992年12月18日第47/133號決議，所有國家均應適用《保護所有人不遭受強迫失蹤宣言》的原則，在出現下列情況時即構成強迫失蹤行為：「違反其本人的意願而予以逮捕、拘留或綁架，或剝奪他們的自由，隨後又拒絕透露有關人員的命運或下落，或拒絕承認剝奪了他們的自由，結果將這些人置於法律保護之外」。支聯會認為銅鑼灣書店5人的處境，已符合聯合國定義下的強迫失蹤；為此，支聯會已完成有關資料整理工作，準備正式向聯合國強迫或非自願失蹤問題工作組(Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances)提出申訴，要求專家工作組向中國政府要求提供有關人士具體身處地點及境況的資料，並調查過程中有關部門是否涉及違反人權的問題。
The missing case of 5 persons from the Hong Kong Causeway Bay bookshop
17 October 2015 Gui Minhai, writer and co-owner of Hong Kong publishing house Mighty Current, which runs the Causeway Bay bookshop, goes missing during a holiday in Pattaya, Thailand. The Causeway Bay bookshop specializes in selling gossipy paperbooks that are highly critical of China’s leadership. They are particularly popular with mainland Chinese visitors who cannot buy the banned books at home.
20-26 October 2015 Lui Bo, general manager of Mighty Current, business manager Cheung Ji-ping and bookstore manager Lam Wing-kei, go missing after separately visiting Shenzhen, PRC.
2 weeks after Gui Minhai goes missing, he messages his daughter, Angela: “I have put [HK$30,000] in your account in Hong Kong, and hope you will be fine with everything.”
3 November 2015
4 men, 3 speaking Chinese, attempt to take away Gui Minhai’s computer from his Pattaya appointment.
5 November 2015
Missing person reports are made to Hong Kong police about the missing members of the bookstore’s staff – Lam Wing-kei, Lui Bo and Cheung Ji-ping.
10 November 2015 Lee Bo, a major stokeholder in Causeway Bay bookshop, told BBC news: “I suspect all of them (Gui, Lui, Cheung and Lam) were detained by Chinese officials because of their work. Four people went missing at the same time.”
According to Lee, Gui Minhai last communicated with his colleagues via email on 15 October from the city of Pattaya in Thailand. Gui had written to tell printers to prepare for a new book and that he would send the material shortly. He has not been seen since. The others are Lui Bo and Cheung ji-ping, both have wives in Shenzhen and were last seen there. The fourth missing man is Lam Wing-kei, who was last seen in Hong Kong. Lee Bo told BBC news: “I am quite certain that the main target was Gui. They wanted to prevent him from publishing that book. I think the others were taken because they thought the contents of the book had already been distributed.”
30 December 2015 Lee Bo suddenly disappeared from Hong Kong. He was last seen at Mighty Current’s warehouse in Chai Wan, Hong Kong.
1 January 2016 Lee Bo’s wife, Sophie Choi Ka-ping, reports her husband missing to the Hong Kong police. She says she had received 2 phone calls from Lee where he spoke Putonghua instead of Cantonese and both calls were made from the same Shenzhen phone number. Lee tells her not to make his case widely known and that he was assisting in an investigation.
3 January 2016
A Hong Kong police source says that they had told Lee Bo’s wife there is no record of him leaving Hong Kong.
Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Leung Chun-ying, says it would be unacceptable and a violation of the Basic Law (the mini-constitution of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) and the “one country, two systems” arrangement if PRC mainland authorities had made an arrest in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China holds a press conference in Hong Kong, requests both the Hong Kong government and the PRC government to fully investigate and response to Lee Bo and 4 other Causeway Bay bookshop persons enforced disappearance. The Hong Kong Alliance also calls Hong Kong people to participate to a march from Hong Kong Government Headquarter to the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on 10 January 2016 in order to voice out the concern of Hong Kong citizens’ rights and liberty.
4 January 2016 Lee Bo’s wife withdraws her request for police help after a friend of her husband had managed to contact him the day before. A handwritten letter, apparently faxed by Lee Bo to his colleague is published by the Central News Agency of Taiwan. The letter states Lee “returned to mainland China [his] own way and [is] working with the concerned parties in an investigation which may take a while.”
5 January 2016
China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, describes the missing Hong Kong bookseller Lee Bo as “first and foremost a Chinese citizen”. He responds to questions at a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, who expresses “deep concern” about the disappearance of 65-year-old Lee, who holds a British Passport.
9 January 2016
In a second letter, accompanying a video recording, published by Taiwan’s Central News Agency on the eve of the planned protest march in Hong Kong against “political abduction”, Lee Bo asks outsiders not to organize protests. He writes in the letter his return to mainland China had nothing to do with other people.
10 January 2016
About 6,000 Hongkongers show up to the march organized by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China to protest disappearances of the booksellers.
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying remains ambiguous on mainland authorities’ deadline to respond under a reciprocal mechanism. Under the arrangement, law enforcement agencies on mainland China must notify the Hong Kong police within 14 days if any Hong Kong resident is detained across the border.
17 January 2016 Gui Minhai appears on China’s state television, CCTV, saying he turned himself in for absconding the conditions of a two-year suspended sentence in a drunk-driving death from 2003.
After Gui confesses on TV, Lee Bo’s new letter to his wife refers to Gui’s “complicated history” and calls him “morally unacceptable”.
18 January 2016
Chinese authorities replies to the Hong Kong police confirming Lee Bo is in mainland China.
Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Thai authorities are “still looking into the case” and it was “in the process” of looking for proof of Gui’s proof of departure from Thailand.
Sweden Deputy Minister of Finance Per Bolund presses for openness on Gui’s detention, asking for Swedish official to be allowed to see and contact him.
24 January 2016
Hong Kong police issues a statement claiming that Lee Bo’s wife has told them she had met Lee Bo on 23 January afternoon at a guesthouse on the mainland. Lee Bo’s wife said Lee Bo was healthy and in good spirits, and that he was assisting in an investigation as a witness. She gave no further details regarding the location of the meeting or the nature of the investigation.
Hong Kong police said they are continuing to investigate Lee Bo’s case and had again asked police in Guangdong province, over the mainland border, to assist in arranging a meeting with Lee.
On the other hand, Britain’s Sunday Times reports that a leaked document from the Chinese Communist Party showed Beijing had plans to “exterminate” banned books and magazines at their source, identifying 14 publishing houses and 21 publications in Hong Kong as targets. The party document, titled the “Guangdong Action Plan”, reportedly appears to authorize cross-border operations against the flourishing industry in Hong Kong selling books and magazines banned on the mainland about Chinese leaders.
25 January 2016
When asked by the media, Li Qingxiong, deputy director of the Guangdong Public Security Department, said he had no explanation to offer when how Lee Bo could have gone to the mainland China without his home return permit.
4 February 2016
Guangdong police confirms for the first time that Lam Wing-kei, Lui Bo and Cheung Chi-ping who have not been heard since they went missing last October are being criminally detained and investigated in mainland China.
The European Parliament expresses grave concern on the case of the missing book publishers in Hong Kong.
香港支聯會 – 釋放民運人士．平反八九民運．追究屠城責任．結束一黨專政．建設民主中國 Release the dissidents. Rehabilitate the 1989 pro-democracy movement. Demand accountability of the June 4th massacre. End one-party dictatorship. Build a democratic China.