Thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday in a reprise of anti-China protests of over a year ago, demanding to know the whereabouts of five missing people linked to a local publisher of books critical of Beijing's leadership.
Other publishers and book vendors are unnerved by the mysterious disappearances, and in some cases they have pulled books critical of Beijing's leaders from their shelves.
In three bookstores selling political books visited by Reuters, owners declined to be interviewed, citing the fear of mainland anger.
Hong Kong, a former British colony handed back to China in 1997, is constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and autonomy from Beijing for 50 years but the series of disappearances has led to suspicions that mainland law enforcement officers were ignoring the law.
Lee Bo, 65, a shareholder of Causeway Bay Books and a British passport holder, went missing from Hong Kong in late December, although his wife has withdrawn a missing persons report saying he traveled to China voluntarily to assist in an unspecified investigation.
Four other associates of the publisher have previously been unaccounted for, since late last year.