01/23/2020, 12.54
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Solidarity vigil for detained protesters ahead of New Year

by Paul Wang

More than 7,000 people are being held in various centres in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Many of them are very young. A former detainee testifies to unhygienic conditions and poor food quality.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Thousands of people rallied Wednesday evening in front of the Li Chi Kok Reception Centre to show solidarity with those detained inside.

The vigil was organised ahead of the Lunar New Year by social worker sector lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun.

Since the first protests broke out against extradition last June, the police have arrested over 7,000 people, many of them very young, some under the age of 18, held in various centres across the city, as well as Shenzhen, mainland China.

One of the participants in last night's protest was a young man who was held at Lai Chi Kok and is now out on bail.

He said that a ‘Lennon Wall’ message board inside in support of the pro-democracy movement was removed.

He explained that the centre’s hygiene conditions were poor, with rats and cockroaches inside the kitchen, and that detainees’ food was often undercooked.

“They could have cooked it well, but they chose to give us raw food,” he said. “They can try to kill us all. But as long as there is one of us left, we will keep fighting.”

Crowds also chanted ‘Happy birthday’ after the organisers said it was the birthday of one of the detainees inside the centre on Tuesday.

At 10 pm, when the prison lights were turned off, protesters sang ‘Glory to Hong Kong‘, which has become the anthem of the protests.

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