Cinco editores de uma mesma empresa especializada na publicação de livros sobre corrupção no governo chinês estão desaparecidos misteriosamente. O último a sumir sem explicações é Lee Boo, de 65 anos, coproprietário da editora Mighty Current , sediada em Hong Kong. Ele não foi mais visto desde a virada do ano quando não voltou para casa após uma reunião.
O primeiro dos editores da Mighty Current a desaparecer foi Gui Minhai, cujo ultimo contato foi feito na Tailândia, no começo de outubro. Entre novembro e dezembro de 2015, três outros funcioarios da editoria não foram mais vistos. A policia chinesa afirma que está investigando o caso mas os desaparecimentos assumem cada vez mais um viés político.
É o que garante a reportagem “The Case of the Missing Hong Kong Book Publishers”, publicada pela revista New Yorker em 8 de janeiro e da qual publicamos os parágrafos (em inglês ) a seguir:
…Although none of the booksellers have disclosed their locations, a few have been in sporadic contact with family members to communicate, in opaque terms, that they are “assisting in an investigation.” On the phone with his wife, Sophie Choi, earlier last week, Lee conveyed that he was calling from Shenzhen, specifying that he, too, was voluntarily helping with a case but, strangely, spoke in Mandarin, the standard mainland dialect, rather than his native Cantonese. Choi asked why his mainland travel permit, which he would normally have needed to visit Shenzhen, was still at home. A few days later, in a fax to a colleague and his wife, Lee wrote that he had travelled to Shenzhen “by his own methods,” and implied that he would be staying on the mainland for some time in order to aid in the investigation. That letter added that Lee “had to handle the issue concerned urgently and could not let outsiders know.”
So far, these baffling correspondences have raised more questions than they have answered. What is the investigation? Are they assisting in its proceedings or detained as the target of the investigation? For the moment, Choi has dropped the missing-persons police report based on her belief in the authenticity of her husband’s handwriting, although some Hong Kong politicians have openly raised the possibility that the letter was written under duress.
Gui is a Swedish national and Lee holds a British passport, and both countries have expressed deep concern about their missing citizens. Chinese officials have not publicly acknowledged their involvement in the disappearances, or in any “investigation.” After British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond inquired about the status of the booksellers, however, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi described Lee Bo as “first and foremost a Chinese citizen.” Taken together with an editorial in China’s nationalist Global Times, in which Mighty Current was accused of “profiting on political rumors,” selling books with “trumped-up content,” and making money through “disrupting mainland society,” the implication seems evident enough. To be a Chinese citizen, even one living in a semi-autonomous territory with its own set of laws, seems to mean being subject to China’s strictures and within its reach…
O texto integral da reportagem pode ser lido aqui