An alleged video featuring the missing bookseller Lee Bo has emerged rebutting recent rumours about his disappearance, according to a Headline Daily report.
Headline Daily, owned by the Sing Tao Newspaper Group Limited, did not include the alleged video in its report. In the description of the video, Lee is said to be calm and spirited, sitting on a sofa and speaking to the camera on his own.
The report claims that Lee says he does not understand why his disappearance has become so high profile, and he urges relevant organisations not to demonstrate on Sunday. Organisers expect 5,000 people to attend Sunday’s march, which is set to begin at 2pm at the Central Government Complex in Admiralty and end at the China Liaison Office in Sai Wan.
Lee Bo, 65, a shareholder of Causeway Bay Books, went missing from Hong Kong on December 30 last year. His wife Choi Ka-ping said she received a call from him on the same day speaking Mandarin, instead of Cantonese that they usually communicate in, from a Shenzhen number, yet his travel documents were left in Hong Kong.
In a fax allegedly written by him and received by his wife last week, Lee said he had traveled to China voluntarily, saying “everything is fine.”
The suspicious circumstances left some to speculate that Lee might have been abducted and sent to mainland China through secret channels.
Headline Daily reports that Choi received a video from Lee on Saturday saying that it was his own personal will to return to mainland China to handle some personal issues, and that it was not related to anyone else.
Lee added that his family is facing a lot of pressure, and they are physically and mentally exhausted. He said that the best way to support him and care for him is to stop producing news about him.
The report also said Choi received a letter signed by Lee with Saturday’s date, which reiterates the video.
Choi told Headline Daily that Lee is the head of the family, and she hoped that he would come back to Hong Kong soon.
She also confirmed to Ming Pao that she received the video, but did not confirm when she received it.
Translation of Lee Bo’s letter:
I have noticed that, recently some people in Hong Kong, are organising a march because of my issues – I am very confused and puzzled about that.
I have said again and again, it is completely my personal action to return to the mainland, in order to understand some personal issues, it is not related to anyone else. I do not know why some people have made a big fuss out of this matter.
No matter what your purposes are, what benefits [you are] dreaming to get from it, your behaviours have seriously disturbed the daily lives of me and my family, putting us under a lot of pressure and [we are] physically and mentally exhausted. Under such atmosphere, how can I come back to Hong Kong?
Everyone, please, for the sake of me and my family, respect my choice and privacy, do not make a big fuss out of this matter. This is truly how you should care for me.
See also: HKFP Feature – The curious tale of five missing publishers in Hong Kong.