A letter allegedly written by missing Hong Kong bookseller Lee Bo has emerged urging activists not to protest over his disappearance.
According to Headline Daily, the faxed letter was reportedly accompanied by a video in which he appears calm. The news outlet did not broadcast the video.
In the letter, Lee claims he willingly traveled to the mainland to “understand some personal issues,” and that he did not understand what the “big fuss” over his move was about. He added that demonstrations were actually putting pressure on him and his family.
The Guardian reports that thousands took to the streets of Hong Kong this afternoon to protest against Lee’s alleged kidnapping by mainland authorities.
Lee was a shareholder of Causeway Books, which sold several titles banned in China for their criticism of the ruling Communist Party. He went missing along with four other booksellers on Dec. 30, 2015. Activists believe mainland authorities kidnapped Lee and detained him for questioning.
Lee’s wife said Lee gave her a suspicious call on the day of his disappearance saying everything was all right. She says Lee spoke in Mandarin instead of the Cantonese they often use.
In the letter, Lee describes the move as voluntary. However, he fails to explain why his travel documents remained in Hong Kong or how he made his way out of the territory.
Thickening the plot, it was revealed a few days ago that Lee actually is a British citizen raising concerns that the issue could become a diplomatic battle.
Nonetheless, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to the revelation by saying, “Based on the Basic Law of Hong Kong and China’s nationality law, this person in question is first and foremost a Chinese citizen.”
In the letter, Lee allegedly tells protestors: “No matter what your purposes are, what benefits [you are] dreaming to get from it, your behaviors have seriously disturbed the daily lives of me and my family, putting us under a lot of pressure and [we are] physically and mentally exhausted. Under such atmosphere, how can I come back to Hong Kong?”