Detained former Democratic Party chair allowed to stay at father’s funeral for 37 minutes

2021.05.08

Former Democratic Party chair Wu Chi-wai, who is currently in detention facing a number of offenses, was allowed to stay at his father’s funeral for 37 minutes before being escorted back into custody.

Wu’s father died last month aged 92, and Wu’s request to attend the funeral was initially rejected by the Correctional Services Department. Wu was told to watch the ceremony via the Zoom video conferencing app, with the department suggesting taking a photo for him to see. Following an outcry, High Court judge Esther Toh approved Wu’s application with strict conditions in place.

Wu, who was in custody after he was charged with subversion under the national security law, was driven to the Diamond Hill funeral parlor at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning wearing a white shirt, dark pants and sports shoes.

Around 250 people attended the ceremony, with some shouting “Fight on, Chi-wai!” at Wu, as a large number of uniformed and plainclothes officers were present. Numerous political and business figures offered flower plaques individually or on behalf of their groups.

The former lawmaker left at 9:07 a.m. after the service and boarded a police van escorted by plainclothes officers. “Hang on, Chi-wai!” the crowd shouted. Two private cars escorted the van back to the Lai Chi Kok detention center.

Wu’s wife posted on his Facebook page, saying that he has performed his duty as a son and was able to meet with his elderly mother for a short while.

She thanked the support and encouragement from Hongkongers, Wu’s legal team, members of the Democratic Party, friends, funeral parlor staff and members of the press.

Wu and her expressed their gratitude to their family members, relatives and the public who attended the ceremony, offered condolence donations and flower plaques.

“Hongkongers fight on!” she ended by saying.

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