Bookseller Lui Por’s return to Hong Kong is welcome news, but the continuing detention of his four colleagues is an ongoing violation of free expression and Hong Kong’s constitution, PEN America said today.

On March 4, Hong Kong police confirmed Lui Por’s return. Mr. Lui is one of five men associated with Hong Kong’s Mighty Current publishing house who disappeared in late 2015 and were later confirmed to be in the custody of mainland Chinese police. His colleagues remain in detention, and in recent weeks all have appeared on television to make statements in which they purportedly confess to wrongdoing. These public “confessions” have been met with widespread skepticism and concerns that the men are under extreme pressure from Chinese authorities. Hong Kong police said two of the other men are expected to be released on bail shortly.

“While Lui Por’s release from police custody is a relief, the fact remains that Chinese authorities have engaged in a gross violation of free expression, guaranteed by Hong Kong’s Basic Law, with the forced disappearances and detention of these five men,” said Katy Glenn Bass, deputy director of PEN’s free expression program. “The four men who remain in detention should be immediately released, and the international community must press China to reaffirm its commitment to Hong Kong’s regional autonomy.”

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Founded in 1922, PEN America is an association of 4,400 U.S. writers working to break down barriers to free expression worldwide. www.PEN.org

CONTACT
Sarah Edkins, Deputy Director for Communications: sedkins@pen.org, +1.646.779.4830