Previously missing Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee returned to Hong Kong from the mainland on Tuesday morning.

He met with the police and requested them to cancel his missing person case. He stated that he did not require any assistance from the Hong Kong government or the police. The police said he refused to disclose other details.

Lam Wing-kee was interviewed by Phoenix TV when he was detained in China.
Lam Wing-kee was interviewed by Phoenix TV when he was detained in China. Photo: Phoenix TV screenshot.

Since October last year, five booksellers from Causeway Bay Books in Hong Kong went missing from Thailand, China or Hong Kong. The bookstore was known for political gossipy titles banned on the mainland.

Lam went missing from Shenzhen in October last year, before reappearing on Phoenix television revealing details of the bookstore’s methods of shipping “banned” books in disguise to customers on the mainland.

Other booksellers including Gui Minhai, Lui Por and Cheung Chi-ping also appeared on the programme confessing to their “illegal operation” on the mainland in February. Lee Bo, a British national who went missing from Hong Kong in December, appeared on a separate programme on China’s Phoenix television in the same month.

Causeway Bay Books.
Causeway Bay Books. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Lee Bo, Lui Por and Cheung Chi-ping returned to Hong Kong before Lam, but all of them went back to the mainland again soon after.

Gui also confessed to a driving offence on the mainland in which one person was killed, and which he allegedly committed 12 years ago, on state television.

The whereabouts of Swedish national Gui Minhai are still unknown. His daughter Angela Gui testified before a US congressional commission hearing on China about her father in late May.

The booksellers’ disappearances sparked multiple protests in Hong Kong, where participants voiced their fears for freedom of speech and personal freedom in the city.

The UK and the US governments, and the European Union, have also expressed concern over the issue.

Kris Cheng

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.