Letters from Hong Kong 12 likely written under duress, sister says

Published (HKT): 2020.11.23 06:36

The families of 12 Hongkongers detained in Shenzhen have received letters purportedly hand-penned by the pro-democracy activists, but at least one relative suspects that the message she received was written against her brother’s will.

In a letter addressed to his family, Andy Li told his sister “to stop,” saying that continuing their action was futile and would lead to a dead end. He said he had been able to reflect on his situation now that he had a clearer understanding of it.

The letter was posted onto a Facebook page entitled “Andy is missing” by Li’s sister on Sunday.

Li is among 12 Hongkongers who have been detained in Shenzhen for almost three months. They were captured at sea on Aug. 23 by the Guangdong province coast guard while en route to Taiwan. Their relatives and family-appointed lawyers have been barred from meeting them.

Li wrote that he was given three meals a day and could shower with hot water – an apparent effort to deflect allegations of mistreatment at the Chinese detention center. He also said he would be meeting lawyers for advice on his case.

The letter showed Li was alive, but the messages it contained appeared to have been written against his will, his sister said.

The relatives of 11 other detained Hongkongers had also received letters with similar content, she said.

Chinese authorities have a history of forcing confessions and using detainees to send such politically motivated messages, she said.

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