Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Michael Davis Comments on the Return of Two Hong Kong Booksellers (Time)

"Two Hong Kong Booksellers Return Under Dubious Circumstances"
Nash Jenkins
Time
7 March 2016
Two Hong Kong booksellers who disappeared last autumn returned to the territory over the weekend after months in the custody of mainland Chinese officials.
     Lui Por and Cheung Chi-ping are among the five affiliates of Mighty Current Media — a Hong Kong publishing house that specializes in tawdry texts about the supposed private exploits of Chinese communist officials — who went missing in the last months of 2015. Four of the five detained employees, including Lui and Cheung, have appeared on Chinese television to say that they had been detained for selling thousands of illegal books in the mainland.
     “The mainland legal system is built around an inquisitorial system — a system of confessions,” Michael Davis, an expert in Hong Kong and Chinese law at the University of Hong Kong, told TIME on Monday. “There’s severe pressure on defendants to confess. Their trial procedures don’t meet international standards — it’s a rights violation.”
     On Friday, Hong Kong police released a statement confirming that Lui had returned to the territory and that he had requested they terminate the investigation into his disappearance; a virtually identical notification came on Sunday upon Cheung’s return. Authorities offered no further comment, but past reports suggest the two men may have been let out on bail... Click here to read the full article.


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