Hong Kong Politics & Protest

Hong Kong is not Hong Kong anymore, Scholarism’s Agnes Chow says

Student activist Agnes Chow of Scholarism posted a video on Facebook on Saturday night, discussing the latest employee to have gone missing from an anti-Beijing bookshop in Hong Kong.

Lee Bo, the employee at the Hong Kong-based publisher Mighty Current went missing on Wednesday night. The bookstore publishes titles critical of the Beijing government and Lee is the fifth employee who went missing.

An Urgent Cry from Hong Kong身 在 日 本 膽 粗 粗 錄 左 條 英 文 片 , 沒 咩 準 備 、 背 稿 , 抱 歉 。 我 只 係 覺 得 今 次 , 國 際 關 注 係 好 重 要 。”Hong Kong is not Hong Kong anymore, it is NAMED as Hong Kong only.”An Urgent Cry from Hong KongI am Agnes Chow, a member of Scholarism, a student activists organization from Hong Kong. I have an important message that I hope to spread to the world which is related to a bookseller who suddenly disappeared and has been abducted to Mainland.A Hong Kong bookseller named Lee Bo who sold books criticizing the Communist Party of China and banned political books suddenly went missing weeks after four of his associates disappeared strangely. The Causeway Bay Bookstore, the bookstore established by Lee in 1994, is popular among mainland tourists as they can buy political books which are banned in their hometown.On 30th December 2015, Lee was supposed to collect books from a warehouse at around 5:30pm. However, he was out of contact and could not be found even his wife arrived the warehouse, looking for him at 8:00pm. About 10:00, his wife received a call from her husband from Shenzhen. Lee used Mandarin unusually rather than Cantonese, and told his wife that he had temporarily gone back to cooperate with the investigation, ‘They want me to assist the investigation, if I cooperate, it may be alright.” Lee called his wife again soon to notice her that “you may already know what’s going on” and “don’t make the news public”.With the protection of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Hongkongers are able to obtain personal safety and basic human rights under rule of law. Even some of the Hongkongers acted as dissents to voice out their disagreement towards the Communist Party of China, they would not face penalties. Unlike the mainland China, Hong Kong did not adopt authoritarian governance. Citizens who sell politically sensitive books were not supposed to be suppressed by any threats of ‘disappearance’ and imprisonment with the existence of freedom of press and speech. In the past, we were safe because we lived in Hong Kong instead of the mainland China. However, the circumstances have changed with the abduction which was suspected to be done by the police in China towards this bookseller who kept being low profile before. Lee’s wife has reported her husband’s missing to the Hong Kong Police Force but still no one could contact Lee since 4 days before. With no departure record of Lee, and his Home Return Permit Card is left at his home in Hong Kong, it can be speculated that the police from the mainland organized cross-border arrest to threaten people in Hong Kong. If the above speculation is true, it indicates the erosion of “one country, two system” in the Basic Law of Hong Kong.The reason for me to film this video is to raise the global awareness of this serious issue happened in Hong Kong, and I hope that more and more foreign medias can keep their attention and coverage on this white terror incident. We feel that Hong Kong is not Hong Kong anymore, it is NAMED as Hong Kong only. The most worrying thing finally happened. This incident evoke me the famous statement written by Pastor Martin in the 1950s.“First they came for the activists, and I did not speak out. Because I was not an activist. Then they came for the journalists, and I did not speak out. Because I was not a journalist. Then they came for the bookseller, and I did not speak out. Because I was not a bookseller. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”I hope everyone in the world who believes in universal values of freedom and human rights could stand up and speak for this incident to stop the political suppression.Even I am also afraid of my personal safety after this incident happened, I still believe we should continuously fight for freedom from fear because it is an important core value that we should uphold . Let us stand up to show our discontent on this abduction and stop the further suppression to political dissents in Hong Kong.

Posted by 周庭 Agnes Chow Ting on Saturday, 2 January 2016

In the five-minute video “An Urgent Cry from Hong Kong,” Chow explains the purpose of the video is to raise global awareness and spread word of the missing employee, who she claimed to have been “abducted to Mainland.” She said in English that Lee was out of contact when he went to collect books from a warehouse, and his wife later received a call from Lee, who unusually spoke in Mandarin rather than Cantonese.

Calling the event a “white terror incident,” Chow said citizens who sell politically sensitive books should not be suppressed by threats of “disappearance” and imprisonment. She said the abduction was suspected to be done by the police in China and if this speculation is true, it indicates the erosion of the one country, two systems in the Basic Law of Hong Kong.

Causeway BAy banned books

Mighty Current, the bookstore whose five employees have gone missing. Photo: Stand News.

“We feel that Hong Kong is not Hong Kong anymore, it is named as Hong Kong only. The most worrying thing finally happened, ” she said. “Even I am also afraid of my personal safety after this incident happened, I still believe we should continuously fight for freedom from fear because it is an important core value that we should uphold.”

Chow added that she filmed the video in Japan without much preparation. “I just think that this time, international attention is very important,” she said.

Hong Kong is not Hong Kong anymore, Scholarism's Agnes Chow says