Humans of Hong Kong

Humans of Hong Kong

Translated version of feature stories and interviews by Stand News. 立場新聞專題、人訪的英文版本。

2020/10/3 - 18:59

The unfinished dream of Andy Li, a detained Hongkonger and a brother beloved

Photo credit: Facebook page “Andy is missing”

Photo credit: Facebook page “Andy is missing”

“You and the end of summer and the dreams of the future,
And our big hope, I won't forget them.
A goodbye when you hold back your tears and smile is lonely, isn' t it.“

On 26 September, Miss Li uploaded a photo of Hong Kong youth Andy Li Yu-hin (李宇軒) to her Facebook page “Andy is Missing”, captioning with lyrics from the Japanese song “Secret Base ~The Things You Gave Me~” featured in the animation series Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day.

Andy has been alleged by the Hong Kong Police of collusion with foreign forces and by the mainland coast guard for illegal border-crossing. In the eyes of Miss Li, however, Andy is a manga fan and a computer geek, and a beloved brother whom she grew up with.

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While her friends kept nagging about their siblings, Miss Li found his brother a caring one always by her side since their early childhood. Somewhat leading to their own life when they grew up, to Miss Li, Andy has been of not much difference from a quiet youth who enjoy reading manga and spending time online.

Andy Li Yu-hin (李宇軒)

Andy Li Yu-hin (李宇軒)

Their family never talk about politics at home. Miss Li said Andy was never much interested in politics until last June, when protests against plans to allow extradition to mainland China rocked Hong Kong. She talked to Andy once and found that both of them were supportive of the movement – but nothing more than that. She felt that her brother deliberately did not want to talk about it too much, and she would not interfere with her brother' s business.

On 10 August, while police arrested Jimmy Lai, the founder of Next Media for allegedly breaking the newly announced National Security Law, Andy was also arrested for allegations of collusion with foreign forces and money laundering. At first Miss Li thought it must be a mistake and that it just happened to be someone with the same name of her brother. It wasn' t until the photo of Andy appeared in the news that she realized with shock that it was him after all.

Being released after bail, Andy explained to his family what had happened before going back to his home. Two weeks later, Miss Li found his brother hit the headlines again. She could not believe the detainee reported to be arrested by the mainland coast guard was Andy – until the police came to their home on 28 August handing them a detention notice of him from the mainland.

Miss Li was left shocked and scared. She could not help spending sleepless nights worrying about Andy and checking her phone all day, in the hope of finding the latest news about the twelve Hongkongers detained in Yantian, Shenzhen.

Her anxiety has been lifted a bit as she later obtained help from legislator Eddie Chu, activist Owen Chow and Lester Shum on the issue. However, thinking of what had happened to Simon Cheng Man-kit, a former officer at the British Consulate-General Hong Kong who was detained by Chinese authorities last year when he returned from a business trip in Shenzhen, she worried that Andy and other detainees would just face the same fate.

A seaside spot at Yantian, Shenzhen, where Hong Kong is just on the other side

A seaside spot at Yantian, Shenzhen, where Hong Kong is just on the other side

It came as no surprise that Andy was not released when the 15-day detention period as stated in the notice expired. Followed by bad news like lawyers commissioned by families being refused to meet with the detainees and severe allegations being made to the detainees, Miss Li no longer thought that understanding the judicial system in mainland could save her brother. “There' s nothing else you can do if they don' t even respect their own law,” she said.

While Miss Li has already expected their chance to win the case was dim, it has been even more hopeless as Liang Xiaojun, the mainland lawyer commissioned by their family, was not allowed to see Andy at the detention centre. “It’s just like that the twelve detainees have fallen into a black hole and no one can really locate where they are now… No one can verify if they were in Yantian or if they were still alive,” she said, mentioning that the Hong Kong Immigration Department did nothing helpful either.

What made Miss Li more worried was what the mainland authorities might do with this case to make it a bigger drama against the anti-extradition movement, as Hua Chunying, spokesperson of Chinese Government labelled the detainees as “separatists”. “There could always be stories being made up in the mainland,” she said.

“What made these twelve people choose to take a risk boarding a speedboat and heading into the unknown was… they haven' t got a better choice at all,” Miss Li said.

Families of the 12 detained Hongkongers met the press on 12 September, 2020.

Families of the 12 detained Hongkongers met the press on 12 September, 2020.

Taking a step further after a press briefing by the detainees' families, Miss Li created a Facebook page named “Andy is Missing”, where she wrote in English in an attempt to raise attention globally towards Andy’s case. While she agreed what prominent activists like Joshua Wong and Lester Shum could do would be much more influential, she saw the importance to voice her own words.

As a manga fan just like her brother, it was just easy for Miss Li to notice a photo of Andy from a trip to Japan was actually taken at a scenic spot featured in Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. She recalled the closing song of the animation series, and soon realized how much its lyrics coincide with what happened to Andy and her –

“When summer ended, together we shared a faraway dream, in the hope of completing those things we left unfinished.”

 

Source:
【專訪】開「Andy is Missing」專頁求救 李宇軒妹妹眼中的兄長,和他未圓的夢