Jimmy Lai, founder of Next Digital, was sentenced to 14 months in prison after being convicted of participating in and organizing two unauthorized assemblies on August 18th and 31st of 2019. The last time we heard from Lai was in April, when he sent a letter to the staff at Apple Daily from prison. With regard to Fatty Lai’s latest situation, people outside the walls only know that whenever he enters or leaves the courtroom or is escorted to a prison car, he always makes a heart gesture to the public gallery in the courtroom or on camera. Despite being separated by high walls, there has been no shortage of readers’ concern for Lai, with over a hundred Hong Kong people writing greeting cards for Fatty Lai at street stations; a couple in their seventies residing in Toronto wrote a poem to express their heartfelt sentiments from across the ocean; some readers shared their feelings before June 4, as though Hong Kong people had slipped back into the oppressive days from 32 years ago, as the regime once again devoured the flesh and blood of generations of souls.
Reader Clara says she is grateful that Lai has the courage to face up to his fate and stand firm on his principles in the face of oppression, and at a time when the powers are doing everything they can to attack him, he still chooses to take this difficult path. She said that it is sad and heartbreaking to see Hong Kong’s rites and music crumble as the rule of law, which used to be fair and civilized, fades away, and that we can only hope to survive the winter and see the “fruits of justice.”
At the time she wrote her letter, it was the eve of the 32nd anniversary of June 4. She said that Hong Kong people seemed to have returned to the oppressive time 32 years ago, as the regime is again devouring the flesh and blood of generations of souls. She re-watched a clip of the “Concert For Democracy In China” from 32 years ago, in which artists and hundreds of thousands of people sang the song “For Freedom” together, creating a magnificent scene and a strong sense of unity. One cannot help but ask, “When can the great cause of democracy in China be realized?” She encouraged Lai to continue to cultivate the soil together in the hope that the flower of democracy can truly bloom soon.
There have been rumors in recent months that the regime will take action to outlaw Apple Daily. Many readers continued to write to Jimmy Lai to express their support and to thank the dedicated staff of Apple Daily. The reader who signed as Jackie said that although he did not know for how long he could continue his subscription, he promised that he would support Lai until the very end. Some readers also told Lai that they bought shares of Next Digital and placed advertisements in the daily newspaper to support Apple Daily. The reader who signed as “Lantau Mosquito” said that he was touched whenever he saw Lai’s heart gesture, and appreciated his selfless spirit, thus he wrote to us with a hand-drawn big heart.
Excerpts from readers’ letters
Millennial girl: “Be healthy, and keep smiling in spite of the difficulties we face in and out of Hong Kong, but what remains unchanged is that our hands are held tightly together and our hearts are shining brightly for each other. Please take care of yourself.”
200M+1: “Every one of us in Hong Kong is waiting for you to resume your role, believing that the long dark night will eventually pass and the light will surely come.”
Ms. Lau: “Praying for you every day, and God will protect you for your righteousness. In support of you, I have bought shares of Apple Daily. Add oil.”
Day: “Thank you for braving authority to defend freedom of the press in Hong Kong. Please carry on. I placed an advertisement in your newspaper as a small gesture of contribution!”
Yeung Chi-wah: “I am a 60-year-old Hongkonger. Since Leung Chun-ying came to power, I have participated in large and small rallies and assemblies, including the Umbrella Movement and the anti-ELAB movement. I am convinced that you have given very much to the democratic movement in Hong Kong. I would like to say thank you and send my best wishes to you and wish you a good life.”
This article is translated from Chinese by Apple Daily.
Click here for Chinese version
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