The five booksellers worked at Causeway Bay Books, a dingy store in Hong Kong’s most bustling commercial district that’s famous for selling lurid books about the private lives of mainland Chinese politicians. Four of the booksellers are still believed to be in mainland China, but Lam was freed temporarily on bail.
Lam had been expected to return to the mainland but defied Chinese authorities by telling the press how he had spent months in solitary confinement under constant surveillance. Protesters marched from the bookstore to Beijing’s government outpost on June 18 to demand justice.
Lam’s revelations further underscore growing concerns over Chinese encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy and democratic freedoms, granted to the territory after Britain returned it to China in 1997. “I think it shows that Hong Kongers should be concerned for their security,” the bookseller told TIME.
This appears in the July 04, 2016 issue of TIME.