Monday, June 20, 2016

I may be 'suicided', says bookseller Lam Wing-kee

I may be 'suicided', says bookseller Lam Wing-kee

June 19 2016
  • I may be 'suicided', says bookseller Lam Wing-kee
Bookseller Lam Wing-kee revealed on Sunday that he had considered committing suicide during his months of detention on the mainland, saying while he would not take his own life now he is back in Hong Kong, it was hard to predict whether he would be killed by others. 

Lam also said he remains under constant surveillance since returning to the territory last Tuesday. Although no one has approached him in person since he spoke to the media on Thursday about his alleged eight-month kidnap ordeal, he said agents have been messaging him. He said he had destroyed the phone the agents were contacting him on. 

Lam said the agents have been asking about a hard-disk containing the names of people who bought items from his company, which he said he had been tasked with picking up from his colleague Lee Bo. 

Lee himself disappeared and resurfaced months later on the mainland, sparking fears that he had been kidnapped from Hong Kong by mainland law enforcement officers. 

Lam revealed he had met up with Lee to retrieve the hard-disk and it was then that his colleague told him he had been taken across the border from Hong Kong against his will in December. 

Lee has since denied speaking to Lam about how he ended up on the mainland, having previously insisted he went there of his own free will and using his own means rather than passing through an immigration checkpoint. 

Lam said he still has the hard disk and he is now in fear of "being suicided" -- killed with his death made to look like a suicide.

He also said he would not try to rebuff the claims of some of his colleagues which contradict his account of what happened to him, Lee and three other colleagues. Lam said he realises that they cannot tell the truth because they have relatives on the mainland and his counterclaims would only put them in further danger.

He said the authorities told him that one of the other three booksellers, Gui Minhai, will go on trial in September. Gui, who vanished from Thailand last October, is believed to be in detention on the mainland, also accused of selling illegal books there.

Earlier this year, Gui apparently confessed on state television to fleeing the mainland after being given a two-year suspended prison sentence for a fatal hit-and-run accident in Ningbo 12 years ago.