Friday, 13 July 2018

Keeping Liu Xiaobo's Memory Alive

Rainy weather did not deter some 1,000 people from remembering Liu Xiaobo
Today's weather was unsettled with bursts of rain storms here and there.
But the inclement conditions didn't deter several hundred people who turned out at Tamar in Admiralty to mark the first anniversary of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo's death.
Originally the event was also supposed to be a rally directed at the Chinese government to free Liu's wife Liu Xia, but she was unexpectedly released and allowed to fly to Berlin on Tuesday.
The candlelight vigil was organized by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China. Participants bowed at a statue of Liu Xiaobo, that has been seen in and around Causeway Bay.
It's interesting to note that while people in the mainland could not commemorate Liu, some representatives from the Chinese PEN Centre, that helped secure Liu Xia's release, were allowed to travel to Hong Kong to take part in tonight's event.
A candlelight vigil was held tonight at Tamar
Meanwhile, Lam Wing-kee, one of the five booksellers who was abducted in China in 2015, says after Liu Xia was released, human rights activist Qin Yongmin was jailed for 13 years for subversion of state power, which indicated China was not relaxing its policy towards dissidents, and that her ability to fly to Germany was an isolated case.
"I just fear Beijing's control will tighten in the future," he said. "But Liu Xia's release told Hongkongers that we need to hold on and strive for what's right, attend rallies or vigils whenever we can."
Today in Berlin, there are also events to commemorate the first anniversary of Liu Xiaobo's death, but Liu Xia will not be attending, partly because of health reasons and possibly not wanting to cause trouble for her brother, Liu Hui.
Liao Tianqi, the president of the Chinese PEN Centre, said Liu Xia expressed in a note of thanks to Hongkongers and for remembering her husband on the first anniversary of his death.
Liu Xiaobo died of liver cancer last July 13 while in custody in a hospital in Shenyang, Liaoning province. He was 61 years old.
He was serving an 11-year sentence for "inciting subversion of state power" since 2009, after he helped write a petition known as Charter 08, that called for sweeping political reforms.

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