Hong Kong book seller says his confession was scripted, lead thousands in protest

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, June 18: Lam Wing-kee, one of five booksellers who mysteriously disappeared from Hong Kong, has spilled the beans about his forced confession following his arrest at the end of October last.

Chinese authorities abducted him at the border; blind folded, handcuffed and kept him in solitary confinement for five months.

Lam Wing-kee told reporters on Thursday evening that he was forced to issue a scripted TV confession for allegedly trading banned books.

Lam Wing-kee at the press conference. Photo: Reuters

“I was asked to remember the script and read it out in front of the camera. This was what I was requested to do,” Lam said about his forced confession, reports Australia’s public broadcaster www.abc.net.au on June 17.

The book seller led thousands in a protest through the streets of Hong Kong today and urged fellow Hong kongers to speak out against suppression of free speech.

Lam said he is not worried about his personal safety as he has the support of the people of Hong Kong.

“I am not worried about my safety because I have the support of Hong Kong people. My bookstore is located in Hong Kong, a place where the freedom of speech and publishing is protected. China is making use of violence to destroy it, because the country wants to tighten the freedom of Hong Kong people gradually,” South China Morning Post quoted Lam as saying in a report on June 18.

Photo: South China Morning Post.
Photo: South China Morning Post.

Lam, along with four other booksellers associated with Hong Kong-based publishing house Mighty Current, went missing at the end of October last year.

His revelation confirmed that Chinese authorities had kidnapped him and his colleagues because they were selling books that were critical of the ruling Communist Party.

The book seller manages a tiny bookshop in Hong Kong selling books that are banned in mainland China but not in Hong Kong due its liberal laws.

Lam was released on June 14, 2016 with an instruction to return to China with the list of his customers on June 16 but he has decided not to return to China.