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Source — The Guardian

News

Hong-Kong: prison is an inevitable part of Hong Kong's exhausting path to democracy

In the first of a series of columns for the Guardian from his cell, the political activist says his detention is shining a light on China’s authoritarianism. Life at the correctional facility is dull and dry; to be disconnected from the family and friends I have fought alongside is also tremendously painful. But despite these difficulties, I remain proud of my commitment to the umbrella movement, which was born exactly three years ago today.

After reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiography and the memoirs of the recently deceased Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, I can’t help but think: what are these British-style marching exercises and the bad food here in Hong Kong compared to their sufferings?

Being locked up is an inevitable part of our long, exhausting path to democracy.

Our bodies are held captive, but our pursuit of freedom cannot be contained.

Adversity will only sharpen our wits and make us more strong-willed, resulting in the political awakening of more Hong Kongers, not to mention the international community’s support.

In the past, when we spoke of political detainees under the Chinese Communist party, we were referring to dissidents in mainland China. Yet as Hong Kong ushers in a heightened authoritarian era, to advocate human rights is to risk becoming a political detainee. This is the new normal. One simply cannot turn a blind eye and kid oneself that Hong Kong is still the same as it has always been.

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