As local protesters were staging a sit-in demonstration outside Beijing’s representative office in Hong Kong, the news of death of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo broke in on July 13 night local time. More and more mourners went there and staged a vigil for Liu, who died of liver cancer at 61.
The news was posted on the website of the department of justice of Shenyang city government (Liaoning).
Liu was found guilty of “subversive crimes” by a court in Beijing and was sentenced to 11 years’ jail term. He was released on parole because of a liver cancer. Medical experts from Germany and the United States went there and discussed with Chinese doctors.
Chinese authorities insisted he should stay in China to receive treatment, but foreign experts and governments had urged the Chinese government to respect his wish to go abroad for treatment.
Cardinal Joseph Zen, emeritus bishop of Hong Kong, wrote a blessing card for Liu lately, and now prayed that God would let him rest in peace.
Cardinal Zen wrote: “Dear Xiaobo, You are like the Prophet Jeremiah in my heart. You are like a lamb taken to be slaughtered. We demand justice for you from the Lord, but your wisdom has reminded us of the mission of a prophet, which includes suffering and death. Through you and your wife, we have offered to our Lord the reform of our Motherland. Your blood will not be shed in vain. May God bless you and grant you peace!”
The Justice and Peace Commission of Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong and a Protestant-run social concern group will stage a prayer meeting to express condolence for Liu on July 14 evening outside the China Liaison Office.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Alliance in support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, in a statement of July 13, condemned the Chinese authorities for failing to respect Liu’s wish to receive treatment abroad and for barring Liu from speaking freely, and they demand immediate freedom of Liu Xia and family.
Since the pro-democracy movement in Beijing in 1989, Liu Xiaobo had always fought for democracy with non-violence means. In 1989, he was arrested for authoring the “Charter 08”and was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment.
The Alliance states that the general public have the right to publicly mourn Liu, and any act of mourning should not be interfered with. They also urge the Chinese government not to keep Liu Xiaobo’s family and friends under surveillance.
The Alliance will stage a candlelight march in memory of Liu Xiaobo on July 15 evening.
Overseas Chinese groups in Toronto will also hold a candlelight vigil for Liu Xiaobo outside the Chinese Consulate there on July 14.