A memorial service held in Hong Kong on Wednesday for the late Chinese rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo drew the participation of more than a thousand people.
Mourners gathered at Tamar Park outside the government headquarters in Admiralty, paying tributes to Liu, who died of liver cancer in Shenyang last Thursday after years in a Chinese prison.
Police estimated the turnout to be about 1,500 at peak time, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
People laid flowers beneath a giant banner honoring the prominent political dissident and observed a minute of silence, joining similar events held on the same day around the world.
Some people who came with children said they want their kids to know about Liu and share his universal values. Among those paying respects, there were some from the mainland.
Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, which hosted the memorial, said he was touched by the response.
The Liu commemoration shows people are drawn to the spirit of resistance, hope and freedom, he said.
Lee said he hopes to pass on to Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, a condolence book signed by Hongkongers at some point in the future.
He revealed that the alliance’s next move will be to wage a campaign and let Beijing know that there is a price to pay for the mistreatment of Liu, at least in terms of reputational damage.
In a clip shown at the memorial, Wu’er Kaixi, a student leader who fled China after the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, was almost in tears, declaring that Liu’s death amounts to murder. He praised Liu for not bowing to the Communist Party despite all sorts of harassment.
Liu, who was jailed in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power”, died on July 13 after being denied permission to leave the country for treatment of late-stage liver cancer.
On Wednesday, the seventh day after his death when his soul is believed to return to the world according to Chinese tradition, memorials for Liu were held in Boston, San Francisco, London, Sydney, Taipei and other places across the globe.
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