A group of students of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) are seeking to display a bronze statue of late Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo permanently on campus.

“The student union believes that [displaying the statue permanently] is a meaningful cause, as Liu has sacrificed a lot in promoting democratic development in China,” Pang Ka-ho, a representative of the Hong Kong University Students’ Union told HKU’s student broadcaster Campus TV last Friday.

Activist Raphael Wong and the statue of Liu Xiaobo. Photo: PH Yang.

He said the students’ union had submitted an application asking the school to give a permanent home to the statue and is waiting for a response from the administration.

“We hope that the statue can stay on campus because it symbolises universal values to everyone regardless of their political stance,” Pang said.

The bronze statue arrived at HKU campus last Friday, which coincided with the birthday of the late Chinese dissident.

Liu, a poet, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. He was jailed for 11 years a year earlier for inciting “subversion of state power,” after he penned Charter ’08 – a manifesto urging democratic reform.

Liu Xiaobo Concern Group members honoured Liu’s birthday. Photo: PH Yang.

The Liu Xiaobo Concern Group also held a commemoration in honour of Liu on HKU campus on the same day.

The statue was on display outside Causeway Bay’s Times Square earlier this year, but it was later removed after the shopping mall threated organisers with legal action.

Liu’s statute outside Times Square. File Photo: Jennifer Creery/HKFP.

Liu died last July after battling liver cancer while on medical parole, making him the first Nobel laureate to die in custody since 1938. His wife Liu Xia had been under de facto house arrest until this July, when she was finally allowed to leave China and resettle in Germany.

Hong Kong Free Press

Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.