Thursday, 20 July 2017

Remembering Liu Xiaobo Seven Days Later

A memorial for Liu Xiaobo was held at Tamar in Admiralty
I'm sorry I missed another memorial for Liu Xiaobo in Hong Kong last night.

It was the seventh day of his death, where the Chinese believe the spirit of the newly deceased will return home to bid a final farewell to their loved ones.

In Hong Kong, about 1,500 people gathered at Tamar in Admiralty, where they paid their last respects to the political dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner who died of liver cancer on July 13.

Liu is remembered with pictures of a chair by the water
People signed condolence books and placed flowers in front of a large portrait of Liu with the words "Remembering Liu Xiaobo -- Free Liu Xia" at the park. Local musicians also performed several songs, including John Lennon's Imagine. At the end of the one-hour memorial, people raised three fingers in the air to represent resistance, freedom and hope.

Finally, a chair with a candle on it was lowered into Victoria Harbour. There are reports police were present but didn't intervene.

There were similar memorials in Vancouver, Boston, Melbourne and London.

It is believed the family was pressured by the Chinese government to cremate the Chinese dissident's body so soon after his death -- usually it is done at least a week after in observance of the Chinese custom.

Also his ashes were scattered into the sea in a controversial burial in an attempt by Beijing to deny supporters a place of pilgrimage. It is also known as a cruel form of posthumous punishment in traditional Chinese culture, where having a tomb is a place for one's descendants to pay tribute to the dead.

Projecting Liu Xiaobo's face on the facade of the PLA!
In the meantime there is serious concern over the whereabouts of his wife, Liu Xia. It is believed she may have been forced to "take a vacation" in the southwestern province of Yunnan.

Not only was she apparently detained, but also Liu Xiaobo's friends, who were reportedly under house arrest, unable to attend memorials. Others were detained after holding ceremonies by the sea.

On social media, people have been posting pictures of chairs by or in the sea, sometimes with flowers and the hashtag #liuxiaobo.

It's telling how far the Chinese government has gone to try to censor anything related to Liu Xiaobo, and yet people just keep remembering him through creative ways.

I think Liu would have been pleased to know so many around the world came out courageously to remember him in various ways.

Perhaps projecting his image on the barracks of the People's Liberation Army in Hong Kong is probably the most daring.

Only in Hong Kong...

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