Supporters fetch books for Hong Kong pro-democracy activists to read behind bars

Published (HKT): 2021.04.07 06:45

For supporters like T (not her real name), delivering books to jailed pro-democracy activists behind bars is a way of helping them stay free with their soul.

T works in cultural education and always thought imprisonment was distant to her. But starting from last year, she started to see friends and acquaintances jailed for their activism.

She first worked with pro-democracy lawmakers to deliver books to inmates, only to see one of her partners, Eddie Chu, was held in custody for allegedly violating the national security law for his participation in the democratic primary last year.

“Many who can offer support are gone. Now even I need to fetch books for Eddie,” she said. “This marks the changing of our times.”

With the assistance from Wall-fare — a group founded by former social welfare lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun that is concerned with prisoners’ rights — T is helping inmates to make good use of their quota to receive six books every month. She has also compiled a list of books for activists to choose from, to make sure the quota will not go to waste.

Former lawmaker Ray Chan requested the literary classic “Dream of the Red Chamber” while district councilors Tiffany Yuen and Jimmy Sham enjoyed reading about gender studies.

“They have a classy soul that cannot be stripped off,” T said.

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