Sunday, 10 June 2012

Remembering A Fighter

Protestors march on the street to remember Li Wangyang
This afternoon there was a protest march in Hong Kong mourning the death of activist Li Wangyang who died in suspicious circumstances earlier this week.

In the front of the procession were two men carrying a wooden pole each and hitting it on the ground every few paces, while most of the mourners wore white and even wore a white bandage around their eyes, perhaps signifying the flimsy bandage that was found around his neck that was tied to the window sill, as the authorities claim he died by suicide.

And now there's even more outrage that his body has already been cremated and the marchers demanded an inquiry and that incoming Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying press Beijing for answers.

Li's friends insist his family did not consent to the cremation and a legal expert has said that if anyone destroys a body without consent could face imprisonment.

This also comes a day before the autopsy that the family also did not agree to.

Leading the procession with wood planks
"Can we say no if the government orders us to [create Li's body]?" the Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy quoted an unnamed member of staff at a funeral parlour in Shaoyang as saying.

A worker at the funeral parlour told a Hong Kong media outlet that Li's sister and brother-in-law had consented to the cremation, but friends of the 62-year-old say they have seen no evidence from the authorities of his family's approval.

The handling of this entire incident is absolutely shameful.

For a start Li did not have to die.

He was already physically destroyed from his 21 years in jail and only last year had been released. He was practically blind and deaf, his hands were shaking and he'd lost a number of teeth.

Li also had a number of ailments so why not leave the man alone and let him live in peace?

Instead he dies in suspicious circumstances -- supposedly from hanging -- except both his feet were on the ground.

There was no opportunity for an independent investigation nor autopsy. And now all the evidence is gone.

Thankfully Hong Kong Cable TV interviewed him a week ago in this video, showing a still spirited Li, who despite his physical obstacles was still passionate about his cause and did not regret his decisions and actions that landed him in jail.

This is how we should remember him.

But how will we ever find justice for Li?

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