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World In Hong Kong, activists take up their pens to support their detained comrades

11:10  01 december  2020
11:10  01 december  2020 Source:   pressfrom.com

Families of detained Hong Kong dozen protest on island near Chinese prison

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Police detain anti-government protesters in Hong Kong . Hong Kong has been in political turmoil since June 2019, when anti-government protests broke out in the city Police have consistently argued that their tactics are the result of protester violence and disruption, and have strenuously denied

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22-year-old Hei writes letters to fellow pro-democracy activists who were jailed for taking part in last year's protests in Hong Kong © Anthony WALLACE 22-year-old Hei writes letters to fellow pro-democracy activists who were jailed for taking part in last year's protests in Hong Kong

Since on the day activists were jailed for participating in pro-democracy protests last year in Hong Kong, Hei regularly writes to around 60 inmates in support of them.

Hong Kong's prison system strictly controls inmate access to information about life outside, so Hei also makes and sends a DIY newspaper © Anthony WALLACE Hong Kong's prison system strictly controls inmate access to information about life outside, so Hei also makes and sends a DIY newspaper

Thousands of people have been arrested and taken into custody for offenses committed during monster demonstrations and often violent to denounce the influence of China on the semi-autonomous region.

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Their call comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed concern the group of 12 had been denied access to their lawyers while Chinese Hong Kong activists detained by mainland Chinese authorities last month after trying to flee the city by boat appealed for information and demanded their

Joe worked as a corporate executive in Hong Kong and traveled the world for his work, which gives him a unique perspective of US and global current events. He has ten degrees or designations and is the author of three books.

Since January, more than 5,000 letters from the public have been sent to people jailed for their part in pro-democracy protests last year © Anthony WALLACE Since January, more than 5,000 letters from the public have been sent to people jailed for their part in pro-democracy protests last year

As prisoners 'access to information is strictly controlled by the prison system, Hei s' is promised to keep them informed of the pro-democracy movement.

"It's a relationship between comrades in arms and we trust each other," the 22-year-old activist told AFP, who only gave her first name in order to preserve her anonymity.

"We share the same pain. I hope that these letters can strengthen people's confidence in the movement."

To these long, often very personal missives, she attaches a press review based on summaries of newspaper headlines, messages on social networks and political memes found on online forums popular with protesters.

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The founding cause of the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests was the proposed legislation of the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill. However, other causes have been pointed out, such as demands for democratic reform, the Causeway Bay Books disappearances

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Regularly, she visits these detainees, bringing them books, sweets and basic necessities. Her dedication has earned her to be described by her friends as "half-imprisoned".

Of the more than 10,000 people arrested since the start of the demonstrations in June 2019, more than 2,300 are being prosecuted, according to the authorities.

Hundreds are in preventive detention and others, convicted, are serving their sentences.

Max, 43, spent four months in arson custody after throwing a book at a barricade set on fire by protesters.

He remembers these letters as "nutrients" to which he was quick to respond, as long as they were "cool and hot".

"When I was in prison, it was like walking inside a tunnel, I couldn't see any light", he says, giving only his first name.

- "Not alone" -

"These letters were like candles which guided me towards the exit".

Compared to the two monthly half-hour visits allowed, these were "the kind of support you can hang on to".

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HONG KONG — The Hong Kong protests at times seem like love fests with the United States. Depending on the day, demonstrators wave American Yet, he added, “I worry that the protesters in Hong Kong risk misinterpreting American sympathy and support of their cause for expectation that

"Unfortunately, some Hong Kong residents have been hoodwinked by the opposition camp and their foreign allies into supporting the anti-extradition campaign," it said. From the protesters' point of view, the dismissal of their grievances as externally driven explains, to a large extent, what happened next.

Without even a desk and chair to sit behind, he spent hours writing on his bed, consuming three pens a month.

The prison regulations allow prisoners who have been sentenced to send one letter per week free of charge. Those who wish to post more must earn money to pay for the stamps. The letters received are all opened and read.

Since his release, Max continues to write to inmates and activists behind bars.

"I do not think that these letters will allow the movement to grow, but I hope it will help my comrades to be well and that they will find moral support there," he explains.

This initiative was supported by former lawyer Shiu Ka-Chun.

Since January, more than 5,000 letters have been sent and 500 correspondents put in touch.

"That's the beauty of the movement. People find their way to support," said Mr. Shiu.

In addition to sending letters, he was involved in initiatives to help detainees send flowers to their loved ones and to collect educational material for younger detainees.

"I hope more people will continue to write to their friends in prison so they know they are not alone."

Jennifer, a 30-year-old office worker, considers the manner in which the movement has been crushed "truly grim". She also says she is frustrated with how some of this dissent is now outlawed.

So far, she has written 48 letters to prisoners, a way to help deal with her own emotions while comforting her pen pals.

"Sometimes I would cry while writing these letters", she confides. "Physically I am free, but mentally we all live in a prison.

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Hong Kong’s democracy fighters face a dire choice: Go abroad or go to jail .
Daily arrests in the territory underscore the limited options for those associated with the city’s struggle for freedoms. The climate talks were a ruse. Last Thursday, three days after landing in Copenhagen, Hui announced he would not return and would instead go into exile.

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This is interesting!