The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday expressing “grave concern” about the disappearance of five Hong Kong missing booksellers. It called for their immediate safe release.

The five co-owners and staff members of Causeway Bay Books and its parent company Mighty Current have been missing in recent months. Gui Minhai, a Swedish national, went missing in Thailand last October. Also in October, Lui Por and Lam Wing-kee went missing in Shenzhen, and Cheung Chi-ping went missing in Dongguan. British national Lee Bo, the latest victim, disappeared from Hong Kong in December.

The vote on the Resolution came before the latest statement by the Hong Kong police on Thursday night that confirmed all five booksellers were detained in China.

European Parliament calls for immediate safe release of 5 missing booksellers. Photo: HKFP.

“The Resolution calls for their immediate safe release. It also calls for the immediate release of all other persons arbitrarily arrested for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and publication in Hong Kong,” read a press release from the European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao.

“The Resolution asks the Chinese government to stop suppressing the free flow of information, including by restricting the use of the internet.”

The motion for a Resolution was proposed by groups of parties from different sides of the political spectrum in the European Parliament, including the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, European Conservatives and Reformists, and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, among others.

Meeting rejected

Meanwhile, a letter by Lee Bo addressed to Hong Kong police stated that he did not need to meet with them at the moment. He said he would contact the police should he need to meet them.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said that the police had said they still wanted to meet Lee Bo as soon as possible, and he hoped the Guangdong Police could pass on this message.

He added that he did not want to second guess on the incident, and the public should not either, before all facts are known. Leung stressed that the government will continue to follow up with the incident.

See also: More on the missing publishers case.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.