Hongkong: Chow Hang-tung

Chow har en god uddannelse fra et stort universitet, og hun kunne have valgt alle typer af karrierer. Hun valgte at dedikere sit liv til at beskytte folks rettigheder som menneskerettighedsadvokat og aktivist.

Chow var næstforperson i Hongkong Alliancen, som arrangerer verdens største mindehøjtidelighed for ofrene for ’massakren på Den Himmelske Freds Plads’. I 1989 blev hundredvis – måske tusindvis – af mennesker dræbt i gaderne omkring Den Himmelske Freds Plads i Beijing. Det kinesiske militær åbnede ild og dræbte demonstranter, der fredeligt demonstrerede for økonomiske og sociale forandringer.

Den kinesiske regering vil have, at folk glemmer, men Chow har gjort det til sin mission at mindes ofrene.

I 2020 og 2021 forbød myndighederne i Hongkong mindehøjtideligheden. De sagde, den var en sundhedsrisiko pga. Covid-19-pandemien. Den 4. juni 2021 opfordrede Chow folk på sociale medier til at mindes massakren ved at tænde lys. Hun blev anholdt den dag for at “annoncere eller offentliggøre uautoriseret forsamling”.

Chow afsoner nu 22 måneder i fængsel for fredeligt at mindes ofrene for en frygtelig massakre. Hun står også overfor yderligere fængsling for at have sat den nationale sikkerhed i fare. Chows mod skinner igennem alt dette. Hun siger ”at sige, at jeg ikke er bange er en løgn, men jeg er ikke så bange, at jeg tør at gøre ingenting”.

Bed Hongkong om at løslade Chow

A brilliant student from a top university, Chow could have pursued all sorts of high-flying careers. Instead, she has dedicated her life to fearlessly protecting people’s rights as a human rights lawyer and activist.

Chow was the vice-chairperson of the Hong Kong Alliance, the organizer of the world’s biggest candlelight vigil for the victims of the Tiananmen crackdown. In 1989, hundreds – possibly thousands – of people were killed in the streets around Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The troops opened fire and killed peaceful protesters calling for economic and social reforms.

The Chinese government wants people to forget, but Chow has made it her mission to remember the victims.

In 2020 and 2021, Hong Kong authorities banned the vigil, because of what they said was public health reasons in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic. On 4 June 2021, Chow encouraged people on social media to remember the crackdown by lighting candles. She was arrested on that day for “advertising or publicizing unauthorized assembly”.

Chow is now serving 22 months in jail for peacefully remembering the victims of a horrific crackdown. She is also facing further imprisonment for endangering national security through her peaceful actions. In the face of all this, Chow’s bravery shines through. “To say I’m not afraid would be a lie, but I’m not so afraid I dare do nothing”, she says.

Ask Hong Kong to free Chow today