HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong will send a delegation of senior officials to Beijing on Tuesday to discuss notification when its residents are detained, after protests in the Asian financial hub over the disappearances of five booksellers.
No decisions will be made but senior Hong Kong justice, security, immigration, customs and police officials will travel to the Chinese capital for a one-day meeting with mainland authorities for a “comprehensive and in-depth review” of the existing notification system, Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said on Monday.
The meeting comes after five Hong Kong booksellers went missing under mysterious circumstances, then later appeared in mainland Chinese custody. The booksellers had all been associated with a single bookshop that specialized in gossipy books critical of mainland leaders.
Last month, one of the men, Lam Wing-kee, returned to Hong Kong and held a news conference detailing how he had been held for months and repeatedly interrogated by Chinese agents without access to family or lawyers, then told he had to hand over a hard disk drive with the shop’s customer database.
Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, governed by separate laws under a 1997 agreement with the British that returned it to Chinese rule. Under the agreement certain things that are banned in the mainland - such as publishing and selling certain books - are permitted in Hong Kong. It is also illegal under the agreement for mainland Chinese authorities to operate in Hong Kong.
Following the booksellers’ disappearance, thousands have taken to the streets saying that Beijing has not abided by the “one country, two systems” agreement that was guaranteed for 50 years.
Reporting by Hera Poon; Writing by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Ed Davies