Activists remember Li Wangyang one year after he was found hanged in hospital ward

March to central government's liaison office and a vigil demand justice for late Hunan dissident

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 June, 2013, 11:34am

Hong Kong activists yesterday demanded justice over the death of Tiananmen dissident Li Wangyang a year ago, and an end to the suppression of his family, who are being kept under close watch at their Hunan home.

Cable TV reporter Chris Lam Kin-seng, who interviewed Li weeks before he died, also called on Hongkongers to remember Li's firm belief in democracy for China.

Li was jailed for 21 years after organising protests in Hunan to support the student movement in Beijing in 1989, just before the Tiananmen crackdown.

Although he was left blind, deaf and barely able to walk from being tortured in prison, he remained defiant in fighting for his cause in the years before he died.

Li was found hanging in a Hunan hospital ward on June 6 last year.

A report by the provincial authorities a month later said he had hanged himself, but the account has been widely doubted.

His sister Li Wangling and her husband, Zhao Baozhu , have also refused to accept the verdict of suicide.

In Hunan, Zhao told RTHK that he and his wife had been stopped from leaving their home.

On Wednesday, he told the South China Morning Post he and his wife had been closely monitored by local authorities for the past few days.

"There are dozens of plain-clothes policemen taking turns to keep watch on us around the clock outside my home," he said.

"We have not been allowed to go out for several days … It's very inconvenient for me to even talk to you."

In a pre-recorded video originally scheduled to be shown at the annual candlelight vigil on Tuesday to remember the 1989 crackdown, Li Wangling said her brother had persevered with his fight for democracy since the 1970s.

In Hong Kong yesterday, the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China and the League of Social Democrats marched to the central government's liaison office to call for an end to the tight security around Li Wangling and for justice over her brother's death.

The alliance also organised a vigil in Mong Kok last night to remember Li.

Lam, Cable TV's Guangzhou correspondent, remained in Guangzhou yesterday. He said he lit a candle at home for Li.

Lam said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after Li's sudden death, and blamed himself for "indirectly causing" the tragedy.

"I recovered only this spring after meeting Li Wangling … and knew that they were safe and did not blame me any more," the journalist said.

"Now I just hope the truth about what happened to Li will come out soon, and that the authorities can stop suppressing Li's family.

"The people of Hong Kong should not forget Li's spirit and his determination in pursuing democracy."