昨天（7月13日）是劉曉波逝世5周年紀念日。《多倫多支持中國民運會》前會長關卓中專程前往渥太華，與《加拿大國際特赦》及 Alliance Canada Hong Kong 的代表於《劉曉波空座椅紀念碑》前獻花，悼念這位至死為推動中國民主而奮鬥的諾貝爾和平獎得主。 國際特赦總幹事 Ketty Nivyabandi 表示：「豎立在國際特赦總部門前的劉曉波紀念碑不但永誌這位人權鬥士的不朽精神，更切切實實提醒我們在中國和香港日益惡劣的人權狀況！尤其是香港，在《國安法》實施僅僅兩年後，民主、自由、法治和公民社會相繼淪陷，香港這個以自由著稱的國際金融中心，今天僅次於緬甸，成為亞洲最多政治犯的城市！」
ACHK 執行董事王卓妍指出：「香港一直是讓國際社會去關注中國發展的重要門户，記者和社運人士曾經可以自由地向中央政府表達不同的觀點。隨著嚴苛的《國安法》和持續的政治鎮壓，香港的言論自由已被港共政權用種種手段去剝奪。 就讓我們繼續捍衛言論自由與保護人權來向劉曉波致敬。」
相片為關卓中，王卓妍，Ketty Nivyabandi （左起）於空座椅紀念碑前。
經過月餘在醫院的治療，Joy Luk 陸耀輝律師已於6月16日出院。由於預期未來1年的康復過程所費不斐，陸律師已在其個人Facebook專頁發出捐助呼籲，且已有不同的團体和個人與她聯络及展開了籌款。本會作為首個協助及接待陸律師抵加尋求政治庇護的團體，將作如下配合。
陸律師自港抵加尋求政治庇護，期間的一切開支由《多倫多支持中國民運會》屬下的《多倫多香港人道援助基金》支付，包括出院後購買醫療床，與及出院後的康復期間作出安排並且支付日間及留宿醫護助理，提供 24 小時照顧。
陸律師正在籌組屬於她個人的後援會，暫名 ”Joy Luk Support Group” ，並準備成立社媒 Patreon 帳號。一旦正式確立，本會也會在網址及Facebook 專頁協助通知大家。
本會謹此呼籲愛自由、愛香港的各界繼續慷慨支持《多倫多香港人道援助基金》。大家的集腋成裘，真能溫暖人間，改變不少年輕人的命運！捐款請用 Interac e-Transfer （加拿大銀行適用）或 PayPal （全世界適用）至 ForHongKong-AT-tadc.ca。其他捐款方式及關於基金詳情，請溜覽本會網頁。
今年在集會結束時，大會帶領群眾齊聲高呼的口號是：「毋忘1989，永記2019，中共夠鐘早唞。」設計這句口號的是民運會的副主席李蘭菊，她是1989 天安門六四的倖存者。她在參與八九學運領袖王丹主持的一個訪談時，提到香港有些新世代說要與1989切割。李蘭菊表示「能夠理解香港年輕人的切割意識，但香港人可以對中國這個名稱、地域、政府、甚至乎人民中的小粉紅切割，卻不能與天安門1989追求民主自由的精神切割！」她說：「歷史上每一場民主運動，其實都是每一個生而自由的個體對天賦人權的渴望和追求所至。每個同路人集合在一起，便造就了一場運動。所以1989天安門民主運動不是屬於中國的，而是屬於所有追求自由的同路人！」李蘭菊更強調：「1989 殘酷鎮壓的歷史及因由，已在中國大地上消失，今天世界各地仍然在談論1989天安門民主運動，是因為香港人30年來擇善固執，年年在維園舉辦西方記者筆下所描述的「世上最大型的燭光集會」。而香港人也是在1989年開始，才真真正正開展大規模的本土民主運動。可以說，2019其實就是1989運動的延續。現在香港遭受同樣的鎮壓，海外也就成了前線，負擔起香港以前的角色，繼續在國際社會上與中共抗爭到底。」
Wednesday July 13 marked the fifth anniversary of the passing of Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Representatives from Amnesty International Canada, Alliance Canada Hong Kong (ACHK) and the Toronto Associations for Democracy in China (TADC) laid a wreath at the Liu Xiaobo Empty Chair Memorial installed at the front lawn of Amnesty’s Ottawa headquarters.
Writer, literary critic, human rights activist and philosopher, Liu fought fearlessly for freedom and democracy in China. He was prevented from attending the Nobel award ceremony in Oslo, Norway that year. An empty chair was put on stage to mark his absence. Liu died in prison in 2017.
“The memorial honours the indomitable spirit of this great human rights defender,” said Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada (English branch). “It also serves to remind us of the deteriorating human rights situation in China and Hong Kong.”
“Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights,” said Cheuk Kwan, past chair of the Toronto Association for Democracy in China, pointing to the quote by Liu Xiaobo engraved on the memorial. “Thousands of people in Hong Kong have been imprisoned for expressing their political views.”
Since the implementation of the draconian National Security Law (NSL) in 2020, Hong Kong has become the city in Asia with the most political prisoners after Myanmar.
A report by the Hong Kong Democracy Council noted that “these political prisoners are just ordinary citizens from all walks of life: students, teachers, union members, journalists and lawyers. More than half of them are 25 years or younger.”
“Hong Kong had served as an important window for the global community to monitor the developments inside China,” Cherie Wong, Alliance Canada Hong Kong’s executive director, noted. “Journalists and activists there once enjoyed the freedom of expression. But for the past two years, this freedom has been systematically eroded.”
While remembering the passing of Liu Xiaobo, Kwan urged the international community to pay attention to the dire human rights violations in China and in Hong Kong. “Let us not forget those who have paid a steep price for Hong Kong. While we enjoy our freedom here in Canada, we must continue to fight hard for theirs.”
Photograph of Cheuk Kwan, Cherie Wong, Ketty Nivyabandi (from left) at the Empty Chair Memorial
With the dedication of medical staff, Joy Luk was discharged from the hospital on June 16. As the recovery process in the coming year is expected to be a heavy spending, Joy has made her plead for donations on social media. Various groups and individuals have responded with their own fundraising campaigns. TADC is the organization providing initial effort to assist Joy seeking political asylum and settling in Canada. We continue to assist her as described below.
Since Joy Luk’s arrival in Canada from Hong Kong to seek political asylum, TADC Hong Kong Humanitarian Fund has paid for her living expenses. This includes a hospital-grade bed together with daytime and over-night personal support workers for 24-hour care arranged and paid for after her discharge from hospital.
Knowing there are plenty of Hong Kong youths seeking political asylum, it is imperative for the Fund to allocate resources effectively to help as many as possible. The Fund has no provision to provide fundraising effort for individuals. As well, the Fund will not be sufficient to meet individuals’ long-term needs. Therefore, it is necessary to separate the “TADC Hong Kong Humanitarian Fund” from donations to individuals.
After the news on the arrival of Joy has broken out, a number of kind Samaritans have sent donations into the Fund designated to her. All such designated donations have been set aside in a separate account, with the amount specifically dedicated towards medical expenses already spent as instructed by donors. The amount in this account will be transferred to her upon her request, to be managed by her or her designated representative to cover her living expenses. TADC continues to assist Joy with all levels of government, community and international organizations within the scope of fighting for her rights and welfares.
At the same time, funds raised by groups or individuals will be handled by Joy herself outside of the above account, the Fund and TADC.
Joy is going to form a personal support group, tentatively called “Joy Luk Support Group”, and set up a Patreon account. Once her preparation is ready, TADC will help promote to everyone through our website and Facebook page.
TADC continues to assist Hong Kong youths arriving in Toronto to seek political asylum. The circumstances for each of them are different, but in general average settlement expenses (including rent and living expenses) total to about $1500-$2000 per person per month, for a duration of 3-6 months. This amount does not include expenses while in exile and costs of legal assistance not covered by legal aid.
TADC appeals to all of you, who love Hong Kong and enjoy freedom, to provide your generous support to the “TADC Hong Kong Humanitarian Fund”. Your collective actions will certainly change the fate of many young people and make the world a better place to live! Please send your donations through Interac e-Transfer (from any Canadian bank) or PayPal (from anywhere in the world) to ForHongKong-AT-tadc.ca. For other forms of donation and for details of the Fund, please visit TADC web page.
TADC would like to announce that Candlelight vigil for the 33rd anniversary of June 4 was attended by more than 2000 people, a record not seen in the past 20 years. Cheuk Kwan, TADC past chair for more than 20 years, said, “we finally succeeded in uniting the two generations this year together, to remember Tiananmen Massacre in 1989 and to keep on fighting for Hong Kong since the pro-democracy movement in 2019.”
Based on observations from volunteers during the event, Winnie Ng, TADC chair, was told about 80% of those attending the Candlelight vigil were believed to be from Hong Kong. Among them, half have arrived in Canada within the past two years, many of whom were repatriates, recently admitted into Canada via the “Lifeboat” program, and Hong Kong youths seeking political asylum. Ng said, “it is so encouraging to see the post-90 and post-millennium generations joining forces with us. They waved their own Revolution of Our Time flags during the rally, and took the initiative to direct the crowd using their flags. It is such a touching scene seeing so many families holding candles together with their young children!”
In addition to the new generation in the crowd, Ng was pleased to say that “we have many more young people supporting us as volunteers. They organized the Lennon Wall, helped us with photography and be our emcees. Most importantly they are assisting those seeking political asylum to settle down. Many thanks to the new generations who have contributed their talent and energy!”
The Candlelight vigil ended with chanting slogans to condemn the evil of Chinese Communist Party. Liane Lee, TADC vice chair who was in the Tiananmen Square in 1989, emphasized, “the 1989 Tiananmen Democracy Movement is not a matter exclusive for China. It is for all freedom-loving global citizens! The history of the brutal repression in 1989, although disappeared in China, continues to be heard today everywhere in the world. It is only because people in Hong Kong have chosen to be stubborn and consistent in the past 30 years, holding what reporters described as “the world’s largest candlelight gathering” in Victoria Park in each of those years. 1989 is in fact the first large-scale democracy movement in Hong Kong, and the 2019 pro-democracy movement a continuation of it. Now that Hong Kong is under the same repression, the frontline has shifted to overseas. Communities from around the world should take on the role continuing to fight the CCP.”
During the two events on May 29 and June 4 this year, TADC received a total of $2,451 in donations. Net proceeds after expenses for the events will be allocated to the TADC Hong Kong Humanitarian Fund to help people seeking political asylum in Canada. Ng calls on everyone to continue donating generously to the Fund, for there are so many young ones to be helped! Details of the Fund can be found on our website www.TADC.ca.
Photos of the June 4 rally, march and candlelight vigil have been published in Facebook photo album.