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Hong Kong mourns death of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo

'We cry bitterly, for the China left behind by Liu'

Hong Kong mourns death of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo

Protesters pay their respects outside the Chinese Liaison Office of Hong Kong after the death of Chinese Noble laureate Liu Xiaobo on July 13. (Photo by Isaac Lawrence/AFP)

ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
China

July 14, 2017

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Hong Kong supporters of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died in a hospital in China's northeast on July 13, are among those who have pledged to "carry on his fight" for human rights and freedom in China.

More than 150 activists and politicians in Hong Kong joined others on the mainland in forming a memorial alliance following news that Liu had died, only three weeks after Chinese authorities revealed he had terminal liver cancer.

"Liu's disease was a disease of imprisonment, and we shall record his deeds for him; Liu's death was a death for China, and we shall carry on his fight. We cry bitterly, for the China left behind by Liu," the alliance said in a statement released on the day of his death while under heavy guard in the First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang.

The activists and politicians are from groups such as Friends of Liu Xiaobo, Signatories of Chapter 08 and Freedom for Liu Xiaobo Action Group.

Many of Liu's Hong Kong supporters also gathered outside the central government's Liaison Office to pay tribute to him.

 

 

Some Hong Kong Facebook users used an image of Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia as their icons after learning that the Nobel laureate had died on July 13. (Photo supplied)

 

Hong Kong Diocese's Justice and Peace Commission and the Christian Social Concern Fellowship are also set to hold a joint prayer gathering outside the Liaison Office on the evening of July 14.

"We are sad and angry about the death of Liu Xiaobo," said the commission's project officer Or Yan-yan.

"He was innocent but the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] imprisoned him for the pro-democratic Chapter 08 he co-authored and some words he wrote in six articles. It is a violation of human rights and the rule of law," said Or.

"There could have been enough time to send him abroad for treatment and to die in a free place as he wished, but the CCP refused to deal with his case humanitarianly," she said.  

Following Liu's death, Or believes the hope for democracy in China is "very slim."

"There was no political reform after the June 4 movement in 1989, and it moved even more backward under Xi Jinping, who has further suppressed civil society," she said.

"The CCP cannot tolerate a rational, non-violent peace advocate as Liu, it will only make more people feel that 'I have an enemy,'" she said, referring to Liu's Nobel lecture in absentia "I have no enemies-my final statement" in 2010.

 

Liu Xia, his wife

There remain concerns about the situation of Liu Xia, wife of the dissident who has suffered depression after being held under house arrest since 2010.

"The CCP might fear Liu Xia will tell the truth about the medical treatment that Liu received before his bail and how they treated her in the past years," Or said.

She believed the authorities will exert pressure on Liu Xia, and use Liu Hui, her brother as a political hostage. Liu Hui was sentenced to imprisonment for financial fraud in 2013 but his family claimed he was framed.

 

This photo illustration taken on July 14 shows a phone in Beijing after the user tried to post a candle emoji in memory of late Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo and getting a reply "content is illegal." (Photo by AFP)

 

Meanwhile in China, active bloggers have spread the news of Liu's death via social media with screenshots to avoid censorship efforts to stem any mention of Liu's passing. 

Liu, 61, was sentenced to 11 years for inciting subversion of state power on Dec. 25, 2009 for his leading role in the Charter 08 manifesto. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."

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