Wife of Hong Kong rights activist goes on hunger strike over his arrest

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 January, 2014, 4:02am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 January, 2014, 4:02am

The wife of rights activist and Diaoyu Islands campaigner Yang Kuang is to stage a hunger strike in protest at the arrest of her husband in Shenzhen and the failure of the Hong Kong government to help her.

Liu Shasha arrived in Hong Kong yesterday morning from her home in Henan , after receiving confirmation on Friday that her husband had been detained for sneaking across the border to the mainland last week.

Yang had not been seen since December 30, when he sent Liu a text message to say he was "in trouble". Liu sought help from Hong Kong immigration, but was disappointed with the response.

"Immigration officers didn't contact the mainland authorities right away, but they asked me to produce all sorts of documents, such as our marriage certificate, to them instead," she said. "I suspect Hong Kong's government, in co-operation with the mainland government, was trying to deter me helping my husband. I'm very discontented."

Guangzhou-born Yang's home-return permit was revoked in March after a failed attempt to visit Liu Xia , wife of jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo .

He has since returned to the mainland several times to meet activists and take care of his wife after a miscarriage last month.

Liu, who did not discuss how her husband got across the border, previously said she believed Yang's arrest was "a pretext for political persecution".

She stopped eating yesterday, and plans to continue her fast in public, in Tsim Sha Tsui or Causeway Bay, as a gesture of protest. She has arranged for lawyers to visit Yang tomorrow.

"I'm very worried about his condition now he is being kept in detention," she said. She urged the Hong Kong government to send a representative to Shenzhen to "ensure Yang is treated humanely and request the mainland authorities release him".

An Immigration Department spokesman said it and Hong Kong's representative office in Guangdong were working on Yang's case.