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After losing his battle with cancer last week, Hong Kong democracy activist Szeto Wah will be given a public memorial service later this month. Now Hong Kong authorities are being urged to allow some of Szeto's supporters from overseas to enter Hong Kong and pay their respects.
Tributes have continued to flow in Hong Kong after the death of renowned democracy activist Szeto Wah on January 2nd. A public memorial is planned for him later this month, but some of Szeto's supporters may not be able to attend.
Wang Dan was a student leader at the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy movement, and later served a prison term for his role. He's currently a visiting Scholar in Taiwan, and has promised to keep a low profile to attend Szeto's memorial.
[Wang Dan, Exiled Democracy Activist]:
"If Beijing and Hong Kong authorities have such misgivings about me coming to Hong Kong, I would promise, if you allow me entry, I will leave the same day, I will not stay overnight in Hong Kong. I just want to see Uncle Wah—I just want to see Uncle Wah, that's it."
Fondly known by many as "Uncle Wah," Szeto Wah was a key figure in helping smuggle activists overseas after the Chinese communist regime crushed the Tiananmen democracy movement.
One of the student leaders Szeto rescued, Wuer Kaixi also applied for a visa to attend his memorial. But neither he nor Wang have heard back from authorities.
[Richard Tsoi, Hong Kong Democracy Advocate]:
"It can be said that Wang's request is a very humble one. I believe the Hong Kong government need to respond quickly, and allow Wang and others to come to Hong Kong."
Szeto Wah died of cancer at the age of 79. He was widely respected for advocating democratic reform in Hong Kong, after the former British Colony returned to Chinese communist rule.