HONG KONG // Pro-democracy politicians heckled Hong Kong’s leader in parliament yesterday and criticised him for not speaking out about five missing booksellers feared to have been detained by authorities in mainland China.
The five from Mighty Current publishing house, known for books critical of Beijing, disappeared last year, stoking fears that Chinese control is tightening in semi-autonomous Hong Kong.
The latest to vanish was Lee Bo, 65, last seen in Hong Kong on December 30. Three others went missing in southern China and one in Thailand, in October.
Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying came under fire as he delivered a key policy speech.
“Where is Lee Bo? Why don’t you answer Hong Kong people,” Labour Party’s Lee Cheuk-yan yelled.
The publishers’ disappearances have triggered protests in recent weeks amid fears freedoms in the city were eroding.
Critics accused Beijing of trampling on the “one country, two systems” agreement under which Hong Kong was guaranteed civil liberties when it was returned by Britain to China in 1997.
Mr Leung’s approval rating has plunged to a low of 37.5 per cent, according to an opinion poll released by the University of Hong Kong on Tuesday.
* Agence France-Presse