Monday, 1 February 2016

Hong Kong Video Plea goes Viral

Agnes Chow in a screen grab from the video posted on her Facebook page
A month ago, Agnes Chow Ting sent out a video plea on Facebook. Called "An urgent cry from Hong Kong" the video shows her reading out a letter in English, talking about the disappearance of the five booksellers, and how it was important to find out what happened to them.

That video went viral and was seen by over 1 million times and shared 13,000 times.
"I was quite surprised [when the video went viral]. It shows that people all over the world care about what is happening in Hong Kong -- they are shocked by it. I hope people will lean about the political situation and keep their eye on Hong Kong. I am really happy that everyone is showing their support," the Baptist University student and core member of Scholarism said.

"This is the first time that we are aware of Hong Kong people being taken to the mainland because of political feelings about Chinese President Xi Jinping."

Over a week ago Gui Minhai made a strange confession on state television, admitting to killing a young woman in a drunk driving accident in Zhejiang province in 2003, while Lee Po's wife was able to see her husband over a week ago in an undisclosed location on the mainland.

The other three associates have not been heard from since they disappeared.

Chow says more protests need to be organized to further pressure the Chinese government to reveal what has happened to the five people.

"I hope people will start to care more about the booksellers. This case shows we do not have the kind of freedoms we should," she said.

In her video, Chow talks about how Hong Kong people believed that with "one country, two systems", their rights and freedoms would be upheld.

"In the past, we were safe because we lived in Hong Kong instead of mainland China. However, the circumstances have changed with the abduction which was suspected to be done by the police in China towards this bookseller who kept being low profile before."

As a result, in the video, Chow says she fears for her safety too.

"I hope everyone in the world who believes in universal values of freedom and human rights could stand up and speak for this incident to stop the political suppression," she says.

"Even I am afraid of my personal safety after this incident. I still believe we should continuously fight for freedom from fear because it is an important core value that we should uphold."

In the end Chow quotes from German pastor Martin Niemöller, who became an outspoken critic of Adolf Hitler and voiced his regret for not doing enough for the victims of Nazi rule.

First they came for the activists, and I did not speak out. Because I was not an activist.

Then they came for the journalists and I did not speak out. Because I was not a journalist.

Then they came for the bookseller, and I did not speak out. Because I was not a bookseller.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.

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