Hundreds of people marched in Hong Kong yesterday to demand that China free the dissident Liu Xiaobo, a week before the human-rights activist is formally awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway. Holding banners reading "Free Liu Xiaobo", nearly 1,000 marched to Beijing's liaison office in support of Mr Liu, who is the first Chinese recipient of the accolade.
China denounced Mr Liu's award as an "obscenity" and sparked a torrent of diplomatic scorn towards Norway, with Beijing pressuring diplomats to boycott the annual ceremony.
China denounced Liu's award as an "obscenity" and sparked a torrent of diplomatic scorn towards Norway, with Beijing pressuring diplomats to boycott the ceremony.
China has in return come under fire for its stance on Liu.
Former Czech President Vaclav Havel and Nobel Peace prize winner Desmond Tutu, writing in The Observer yesterday, became the latest to urge Beijing to free him from jail and his wife from house arrest.
"China's support for abusive regimes and the brutal force with which it crushes dissent within its own borders demonstrates that substantial reform is needed if China is to be viewed within the international community as a true leader," the veteran pro-democracy activists wrote..
Sunday's Hong Kong protesters, closely watched by police, erected a net outside the building to which they tied ribbons symbolising their support for Liu while condemning "oppressive" Chinese authorities.
"Shame on the Chinese Communist Party," shouted Hong Kong lawmaker and activist Leung Kwok-hung.