Five employees working in the Causeway Bay Bookstore in Hong Kong specializing books critical of Beijing appears to be kidnapped by the Chinese government. The autonomy of Hong Kong, in the sense of exercising its jurisdiction, is seriously threatened by China. The safety of U.S. citizens residing in Hong Kong could not be guaranteed if Hong Kong could not fully exercise its jurisdiction. To prevent similar cases happening to U.S. citizens, we wish the United States would urge Hong Kong and China to conduct a detailed investigation and provide a justifiable explanation of this incident. Otherwise, the United States should reconsider the status of Hong Kong as a political entity being treated separately from the People’s Republic of China, which is stated in the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.
On 17th October 2015, the owner of the bookshop, Gui Min Hai, was found disappeared in Thailand. Later on, Lui Bo the general manager, Cheung Jiping the business manager and Lam Wing Kei the manager were respectively found disappeared. On 30th December 2015, Lee Bo, a major shareholder of the bookstore was reported missing. It is believed that their consecutive disappearance is highly related to their selling of Chinese-censored books. In recent years, the Chinese government has been continuously suspected of taking revenge on Hong Kong people who released publication considered as threatening to China, related victims were accused and found guilty in Shenzhen, China. Such cases reinforced the idea that China is determined to interfere with the autonomy of Hong Kong.
As the Article 27 of the Hong Kong Basic Law states, Hong Kong residents should have freedom of speech, and that of the press and of publication. If the Chinese law enforcement is applicable to Hong Kong, the personal liberty of Hong Kong citizens would be threatened seriously. Such situation, whether found to be true or not, has already plunged Hong Kong into a state of white terror, where the freedom from fear exists no more.
According to “One Country, Two Systems", HKSAR has a high degree of autonomy and enjoys executive, legislative and independent judicial power, and the law enforcement agencies of the Mainland should not take enforcement actions in Hong Kong. If the Chinese government are found to be the man behind the scenes, such act of Chinese Government is a huge offense to the Basic Laws and is seriously threatening “One Country, Two Systems". Furthermore, the incident would open the door of resolving Chinese faction and business disputes by cross-border abduction.
As stated in United States Code Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse Chapter 66 – United States – Hong Kong Policy, “The human rights of the people of Hong Kong are of great importance to the United States and are directly relevant to United States interests in Hong Kong. A fully successful transition in the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong must safeguard human rights in and of themselves. Human rights also serve as a basis for Hong Kong’s continued economic prosperity" and “The United States should encourage Hong Kong to continue its efforts to develop a framework which provides adequate protection for intellectual property rights", here, we demand the U.S. Government to provide essential assistance and to urge HKSAR and the Chinese Government for a comprehensive investigation and justifiable explanation about the consecutive disappearance of shareholders and employees of Causeway Bay Bookstore.
If the U.S. Government fails to provide adequate assistance to the investigation of incident, it will be considered as a tacit permission to such infringement upon human rights.
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