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Friends and colleagues are mourning Hong Kong democracy activist Szeto Wah, who died in January after a long battle with cancer. The former Hong Kong legislator was a key voice in demanding greater freedoms in the former British territory and speaking out about human rights abuses in mainland China.
Hundreds of mourners attended three separate funeral ceremonies for Hong Kong democracy activist Szeto Wah.
Szeto died at age 79 on January 2, after a year of chemo-therapy for lung cancer.
He was praised as a long time thorn in the side of the Chinese communist rulers. He had organized yearly candlelight vigils to commemorate the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, drawing tens of thousands of people each time.
Even while undergoing chemo-therapy he spoke out on human rights issues, such as demanding the release of jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.
[Albert Ho, General Secretary, Democratic Alliance]:
"He always reminded us that without integrity, without basic honesty, you cannot sustain the confidence of the public, and that is most important. I think that is the most important thing we have learned from him. And his model, as a politician of good integrity, is the legacy he has left behind to the Democratic Party and to the democracy movement in Hong Kong."
Dozens of mourners watched the ceremony from a large screen outside the church. Others tied yellow ribbons—symbolizing the democracy movement—to a nearby memorial.
Hong Kong's leader, Donald Tsang rules with the backing of the Chinese regime. He had praised Szeto's political contributions, including his backing of political reforms for direct elections in 2017. But Tsang did not attend the ceremony.
The memorial was closed to the general public and media. It was held first for family and friends, then for the Professional Teacher's Association which Szeto founded, and finally for members of the Hong Kong democrats.