Hong Kong bookseller admits smuggling banned books

Hong Kong, March 17 (IANS) One of the five Hong Kong booksellers, who had disappeared for months and reappeared in Hong Kong a week ago, has admitted to having smuggled “banned books” into mainland China.

According to a report on Thursday in the South China Morning Post, the bookseller Cheung Chi-ping confessed trading in books banned in mainland China, although freely sold in Hong Kong, but claimed he was no more than an “accomplice,” and did not play a significant role in the business.

He also said he had not suffered any coercion or torture during his detention and was not forced to do anything against his will, and added “they took good care of me, were good to me, and (I felt) safe,” EFE news reported.

However, he did not provide any details about how he ended up in mainland China, considering Hong Kong has no official record of his exit from its territory.

Cheung was employed as an assistant in the Mighty Current publishing house, which specialized in biographies, critical of the highest echelons of the Chinese Communist Party that were sold in the famous Causeway Books bookstore.

His disappearance towards the end of last year, that lasted months, raised suspicions of his having been abducted by Chinese authorities.

Cheung returned to Hong Kong on March 6 (but went back to China almost immediately) and withdrew the missing complaint, two days after his senior at Mighty Current, Lui Por, who had been missing too, resurfaced.

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