Liu Xiaobo

Hong Kong democracy activists continue campaign for Liu Xia’s release despite alleged kidnapping

Alliance supporters post missing person notices outside a Bank of China branch in Mong Kok

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 August, 2017, 7:34pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 August, 2017, 11:39pm

Democracy activists, undeterred by the alleged kidnapping and torture of democrat Howard Lam Tsz-kin, kicked off a campaign to call for the release of Liu Xia, the widow of late dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo.

Lam claimed he was abducted and then tortured on Thursday night, with staples punched into his legs, three days after a mainland acquaintance warned him not to pass an autographed postcard of Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi to Liu Xia.

The incident did not stop the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China continuing its campaign in Mong Kok on Saturday, calling for Beijing to reveal Liu Xia’s whereabouts.

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“Those people tried to create a chilling and threatening effect through Lam’s case. But we are here to tell the Beijing authorities that we are not afraid,” Lee Cheuk-yan, secretary of the alliance said, adding their action was the best response to the violence.

“Today is the 28th day after Liu Xiaobo had his ashes scattered at sea. Liu Xia still cannot be found or contacted by the outside world,” Lee said, calling on Beijing to release the 56-year-old painter, poet and photographer.

“Free Liu Xia. Release Liu Xia. State violence is shameful.” Lee chanted with a group of supporters.

Liu Xia has been under house arrest since 2010 after her husband was jailed in the previous year on subversion charges for his part in drafting the pro-democracy Charter 08 manifesto, which was signed by more than 350 intellectuals and human rights activists.

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She was permitted to stay with her husband at a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang in his final days. But her current whereabouts have been unknown since shortly after her husband’s death on July 13.

The last time she was seen was on an official video showing Liu Xiaobo’s ashes being scattered at sea.

The alliance posted missing person notices outside a branch of state-owned Bank of China in Mong Kok.

The bright yellow posters feature a picture of Liu Xia and call on people to help look for her.

The alliance is appealing to Hongkongers to download the notice from its website, print it and post it all over the city.

“We will have another round of campaigning at the end of this month,” Lee added.

Liu Xia was diagnosed with depression in 2014 after years of house arrest and the jailing of her brother, Liu Hui, on fraud charges in 2013.

World leaders have been calling for her release, but Beijing has refused to budge on the issue.