Protest ignored by news agency
THE New China News Agency, China's de facto embassy in Hongkong, yesterday ignored about 20 pro-democracy demonstrators who demanded an immediate release of Shanghai dissident Fu Shenqi.
The demonstrators, from the Hongkong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, delivered a protest letter addressed to National People's Congress chairman Qiao Shi to the news agency's Happy Valley headquarters after staging a 20-minute demonstration at its main entrance.
The letter was left unattended at the doorstep after the receptionist closed the door and refused to let the demonstrators in.
Alliance member and Hongkong legislator Cheung Man-kwong said: ''Every time we, the alliance, come here means we have bad news. It means that they [Beijing] have thrown more democracy fighters into jail.''.
It was reported that Fu was sentenced to three years in a labour camp for allegedly inciting activities by other dissidents in Shanghai. Another veteran dissident, Zhang Xianliang, has been taken into police custody recently.
The demonstrators yesterday carried a three-metre-long yellow banner and placards condemning China's secret trials of dissidents and shouted slogans such as ''long live democracy'' and ''long live freedom''.
Although they used a loud hailer, police who were at the scene did not intervene.
Their protest was interrupted by a sudden downpour and the demonstrators were forced to take shelter at the agency's front entrance for about five minutes but the receptionist kept the door shut.