Projections of “FREE HONG KONG” and “OVER 10000 POLITICAL PRISONERS IN HONG KONG” appeared simultaneously at the Chinese Embassies in Washington, D.C., New York, and at the Tower Bridge in London, England on January 31, Chinese New Year’s Eve.
The creators of the projections said they were intended to raise awareness of human rights in Hong Kong before the upcoming opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
The projections on the wall of the Chinese Embassy in the United States include: “OVER 10,000 POLITICAL PRISONERS IN HONG KONG” and “FREE JIMMY AND THE APPLE 7”, which is about three stories high. Below the text is the Olympic rings logo modified to show the five rings as barbed wire coils.
In addition, there are the words “FREEDOM HK” and a two-story-high “umbrella” design. From Sept. 26 to Dec. 15, 2014, the people of Hong Kong launched a campaign for genuine universal suffrage, symbolized by an umbrella, which is also known as the “Umbrella Movement”.
The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong posted a message on Twitter saying: “President Xi: We sent you a message in bright lights on your embassy’s walls in Washington DC. We want you to know that the world is watching: It’s time to stop the crackdown on Hong Kong & free the 10,000+ arrested on political charges.”
President Xi: We sent you a message in bright lights on your embassy’s walls in #WashingtonDC. We want you to know that the world is watching: It’s time to stop the crackdown on #HongKong & free the 10,000+ arrested on political charges. #FreeHongKong cc:@ChineseEmbinUS @Olympics pic.twitter.com/HEKX2WyJzE— Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (@thecfhk) February 1, 2022
#HongKong Yellow Umbrella projected on the wall of the #PRC Embassy in Washington DC. A New Year’s message of non-violence, peace, and hope.
Raise the world’s awareness of human rights in Hong Kong
The author of the above projections is American multimedia artist Robin Bell. Bell told Radio Free Asia that he wanted to raise awareness of human rights in Hong Kong.
In addition to Washington, D.C., the landmark Tower Bridge in London, U.K., also features projected text and graphics such as “FREE JIMMY AND THE APPLE 7”.
The Apple Seven refers to the founder of Apple Daily, Lai Chi-ying (also known as Jimmy Lai), and six senior executives who the Hong Kong government said have violated the Hong Kong version of the National Security Law imposed on the city starting July 1, 2020.
The seven are charged with “conspiracy to collude with foreign or extraterritorial forces to endanger national security” and “conspiracy to publish seditious publications” and remain in custody. London remembers Jimmy Lai and the Apple Daily 7, through one of a series of transatlantic illuminations on the eve of the Lunar New Year – and the most shameful Olympics since the 1936 Nazi Olympics in Berlin.
London remembers Jimmy Lai and the Apple Daily 7. One of a series of transatlantic illuminations on the eve of the Lunar New Year – and the most shameful Olympics since the 1936 Nazi Olympics in Berlin. pic.twitter.com/5G53WFOtaZ— Mark L. Clifford (@MarkLClifford) February 1, 2022
Bell said the backdrop sites include New York, Washington, D.C., and London. It is just one of the protests to the Beijing Winter Olympics in advance.
Hey @NBC, we sent you a message at 30 Rock in #NYC. Will @NBCOlympics report on the CCP’s continued crackdown on #HongKongers + #pressfreedom + its appalling #humanrights abuses, or will you just continue silently profiting from Chinese oppression? Cc: @Olympics #FreeHongKong pic.twitter.com/EErqx6YPmT— Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (@thecfhk) February 1, 2022
Next Media Director: Freedom in Hong Kong will win eventually
Mark Clifford, a member of the Hong Kong Freedom Commission and a former independent non-executive director of Next Media, posted photos of the projections.
“A defiant Jimmy Lai pictured on the side of London’s Tower Bridge. Lai will spend the Lunar New Year holiday in a maximum security jail in Hong Kong because he has the courage to fight for democracy.”
A defiant Jimmy Lai pictured on the side of London’s Tower Bridge. Lai will spend the Lunar New Year holiday in a maximum security jail in Hong Kong because he has the courage to fight for democracy. pic.twitter.com/JRmxwq0j6F— Mark L. Clifford (@MarkLClifford) February 1, 2022
Religious groups synchronize petition: Release all Hong Kong political prisoners
On the same day, Jan. 31, religious groups sent a letter to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, calling for the release of Hong Kong political activists such as Jimmy Lai. Rev. Franco Mella, a Hong Kong Catholic priest, appealed to Carrie Lam to put pressure on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Father Kam Ho-wang was quoted by the French Broadcasting Corporation as saying that only Lai is mentioned here to make it easier for people to understand and remember that they are urging the authorities to release all those who were arrested under the National Security Law.
When Father Kam and another co-priest submitted the letter, they shouted slogans such as “release Jimmy Lai”, “release all political prisoners”, “respect human rights,” “respect freedom,” and “respect democracy.”
Other religious participants include Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, president of the Association of Catholic Bishops of Asia in Burma; Alan Smith, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of St Albans and member of the British House of Lords; Archbishop Emeritus Lord Eames of the Archdiocese of Armagh, Ireland; a number of Anglican bishops and Reformed Church leaders; and a number of North American pastors and lay leaders.