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星期六, 7月 15, 2017

Chinese human rights activist remembered at Toronto candlelight vigil


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/liu-xiaobo-vigil-toronto-1.4206798

Chinese human rights activist remembered at Toronto candlelight vigil

Liu Xiaobo, 61, died this week after suffering multiple organ failure


On Friday, members of Toronto's Chinese community turned out to the Chinese consulate with posters of late pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo. (John Sandeman /CBC)


Members of Toronto's Chinese community came together to remember Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo at a candlelight vigil outside the Chinese consulate Friday night.
The 61-year-old human rights activist died this week after suffering multiple organ failure while undergoing treatment for liver cancer.
Many of his supporters blame the Chinese government for his death, having urged Beijing to allow the political prisoner to be treated abroad. China insisted he was receiving the best possible care. Beijing did allow two foreign doctors to visit Liu Saturday, but he died days later. 
On Friday, supporters turned out with his smiling face on poster boards and pinned at their hearts to remember the writer, dissident and political prisoner. 
"It strongly shocked a lot of people," said Sheng Xue of the Federation for a Democratic China.
"Over the last two decades, he has been consistently pursuing his ideal in achieving social change through peaceful means," said one of the vigil's organizers, Gloria Fung. 
Sheng Xue said she turned out to the vigil to in part to show her condemnation of the Chinese government. (John Sandeman /CBC)

Liu emerged a formidable political force during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, where he arranged the rescue of thousands of students the night before the massacre began.
In the years since, Liu became one of the country's leading human rights activists and a perpetual thorn in the side of the communist government.
Outside China's Toronto consulate, his supporters carried on with that mission.
"China insists on remaining backward," said Wendy Wong.
"We also want to show our condemnation to the Chinese government, because they gave him not even a minute in his life to be living free," said Xue.
But along with condemning China, Liu's supporters are calling for a change in Ottawa as well. The vigil's organizers say Canada must display stronger leadership.
Vigil organizer Gloria Fung said she supported Xiaobo largely for pursuing his ideal in achieving social change through peaceful means. (John Sandeman /CBC)
Fung said Canada must urge "countries like China to subscribe to the universal values of democracy, freedom, rule of law and human rights."
While China's great champion of those rights is now gone, his local supporters say the fight will live on.
During his fourth and most recent prison term, Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but the Chinese government did not allow him to go to receive it.
He was represented instead by an empty chair, which Friday night, hung at the gate of the consulate.
"So that's why the empty chair now becoming a symbol for people to remember him," said Wong.



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