Taiwan extends bookseller Lam Wing-kee's visa

Local | 14 May 2019 2:19 pm

Bookseller Lam Wing-kee has had his visa for Taiwan renewed for three months after he fled to the island on April 25, saying Hong Kong's planned extradition laws mean it is no longer safe for him to stay in the city, RTHK reported.

Lam was one of five men connected to a bookstore in Causeway Bay who disappeared in 2015. Months passed before they were found to be in detention on the mainland, having been abducted by mainland agents in Hong Kong, across the border, and in Thailand.

Taiwan's Central News Agency said today that the island's Mainland Affairs Council agreed with a decision by immigration authorities to approve an extension to Lam's visa. 

The council noted that he has not applied for any special right of abode in Taiwan at this point. 

The news agency quoted Lam as saying that he is grateful to Taiwan for attaching importance to his case, and friends are helping him search for a job on the island.

He reiterated that he will "definitely not" return to Hong Kong, even if he fails to get a job or another visa extension.

The Causeway Bay booksellers are believed to have upset mainland authorities with their gossipy books on Communist Party leaders. While Lam and three others were eventually released, the fifth man – Swedish citizen Gui Minhai – remains in detention.

Lam told the Hong Kong media in 2016 that he had been allowed to come back to the city to collect "evidence" for the authorities. But he instead revealed details of his kidnap ordeal, saying he had been held in secret detention for months in Ningbo, Zhejiang province.

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