The International Publishers Association and PEN International are alarmed at reports that four people associated with a publisher and bookstore in Hong Kong famous for producing and stocking books critical of the Chinese authorities have gone missing. Gui Haiming, the Swedish owner of Sage Communications, along with general manager Lu Bo, store manager Lin Rongji, and staff member Zhang Zhiping have all been reported missing. Fears are growing that they may have been detained by the Chinese authorities.
The President of PEN International, Jennifer Clement, said, ‘PEN International is deeply concerned by the recent reports of four missing publishers in China. If it’s confirmed that they are in detention, it will be yet another blow to the declining situation for freedom of expression in the country. Chinese authorities should investigate these reported disappearances and immediately clarify the situation.´
IPA President, Richard Charkin said, ‘We are seriously concerned for these people’s safety. If they have indeed been arrested, then this is another example of the Chinese Government’s campaign to try to silence dissent in Hong Kong. The IPA calls on the Chinese Government to immediately declare whether these four people are indeed being detained and if so, on what charges. In any event, we ask the Chinese Government to do everything in its power to assist in locating the publishers and allowing for their safe return.’
For information contact Sahar Halaimzai: +44 (0)20 7405 0338 : Sahar.firstname.lastname@example.org