Letter from Prison｜Andrew Wan Siu-kin︰”One hundred days on …”
47 pro-democracy activists are indicted for breaching the national security law by taking part in primaries. Imprisoned before trial, 36 people among them have been detained for 100 days. Andrew Wan Siu-kin from the Democratic Party penned a letter in prison to Hongkongers titled One Hundred Days On… under his by-line -“Inmate”- confiding about the loneliness, fear and hopelessness he experienced during this period in the hope that Hongkongers would “keep working hard outside the wall”.
【Letter from prison：One hundred days on…】
How are you? One hundred days have gone imperceptibly since I was sent to prison.
What exactly does one hundred days mean? A semester at school or clothes for a season in the closet? During the one hundred days, I trudged through a freezing winter and welcomed a scorching summer. Locked up in such a dark prison ward, one will easily get lost in time if one does not pay attention to the pips before news broadcast. How many more one hundred days will I have to push through? 17.25 more (5 years)? 36.5 (10 years)? 53.75 (15 years)? Or innumerous one hundred days? Such a difficult riddle not bound by any legal principle and logic must have baffled the Hongkongers who have a high IQ, are kindhearted and generous in helping the needy.
Not only is waking up in the dark to wander around an experience I have never had, but also a challenge to my body and soul. In the very beginning of the one hundred days, there were only loneliness, fear and hopelessness. The broken system presented a challenge to my body’s endurance, my willpower, belief, conviction and spirituality behind bars. As time went by, however, the truths looked even clearer in the dark as a matter of fact.
The government know pretty well that though they want to prohibit people from doing everything, they are unable to ban them from coming up with an opinion and attitude. What exactly do they stand in dread of? The more public opinion is suppressed, the clearer it shows that they stand in dread of the masses turning away from them, the more they want to turn the table, then the farther the masses turn away from them. The more they want to control everything from A to Z, the clearer it shows that they are not confident and competent enough in taking control of the situation, the more incontrollable state of affairs is. The more defensive they are about the perfection of the electoral system, the more it shows that they know the imperfections of the system, the more unconvincing their arguments are. What they are going to gain in the end is just a lost cause. Have they ever read the reminders from philosopher Alan Walts and Albert Camus? Are they accustomed to being unreasonable? Are they convinced that might is right? Do they really believe that black can be said to be white?
I run into a lot of fellow travelers here. Apart from the 47 of us, there are many new and old friends getting together here. Among the bunch of friends here behind the wall, a lot of them are familiar to you, despite some not well-known. You have to remember them, the souls of Hong Kong readily dedicating their freedom, consuming their life, kindling the willpower and hopes. Stop the authority and system from turning our living comrades into a series of numbers. Let’s be feeble light in this endless night and swarm an unknown path to illuminate the way forward. Where there are lights, there are people; where there are people, there are hopes. Comrades, let’s blaze! I am not afraid, nor am I alone. I will take even better care of them and provide them with more support, which is my promise to you and my response to a hue and cry at the bottom of my heart.
Please remember that there are enough people here behind the wall, and you are of much more help and able to contribute more on the other side of the wall. Promise me to stay out there, can you?
Do you know that under the circumstances that the people in power are unreasonable, enforce law arbitrarily, stick to double standards, amend regulations as they please, be unjust, stray from legal principles and gag people wantonly, I would rather worry about you outside the wall? You must be feeling unwell. Thank you for putting up with all of this! Don’t get dejected. Let’s hang in there. There are still a lot of things you can pursue lawfully: insisting on your belief and conscience is lawful; standing guard over truths is lawful; saying no to lies is lawful; supporting one another by spending money and shopping is lawful. Be water, my friends!
Ok ok, don’t get mad, my friends. Take good care of yourselves and be safe. I am so lucky to have you as my companions who have always stood by, encouraged and lent a hand to me, so that I am able to zero in on the main thing without having to be concerned about other worries, and press on to go through the mill. If we bump into each other after another hundred days, we will have a heart-to-heart talk, and you will tell me one by one all the jokes you will have learnt over the years by then. As you know well, laughing at their bungles is the best way to get our abs into shape. Our appointment is fixed. We’ll chat again soon!
Miss you and wish you a peaceful life!
Inmate, Andrew Wan Siu-kin
This article is translated from Chinese by Apple Daily.
Click here for Chinese version
If you want to mail letters to the imprisoned, please send them to the following addresses:
Raymond Chan Chi-chuen (“Slow beat”), Tam Tak-chi (“Fast beat”):
Rm 619, Kinetic Industrial Centre, 7 Wang Kwong Road, Kowloon Bay (People Power)
Rm B2, 4/F, Tai Cheung Factory Building, 3 Wing Ming Street, Cheung Sha Wan
Jeremy Tam Man-ho:
Shop 7, G/F, Hung Fai Building, 2Q-2Z Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok (Three Meals)
Henry Wong Pak-yu:
G/F, Heng Lai House, Tin Heng Estate, Tin Shui Wai
no.8, G/F, Hin Yau House, Hin Keng Estate, Sha Tin
Sam Cheung Ho-sum:
Shop 11B, G/F, Greenland Garden, 15 Shek Tai Pau Road, Tuen Mun (Office of district councillor Poon Chi-kin)
1/F, 16 Sheung Fung Street, Wong Tai Sin (Office of district councillor Tang Wai-keung)
Lam Cheuk-ting, Andrew Wan Siu-kin:
4/F, Hanley House, 776–778 Nathan Road, Prince Edward (Headquarters of the Democratic Party)
Gary Fan Kwok-wai:
B190, 1/F, Well On Garden Shopping Arcade, 9 Yuk Nga Lane, Tseung Kwan O
Roy Tam Hoi-pong:
Store at Podium (Near Block H) of Luk Yeung Sun Chuen, 22–26 Wai Tsuen Road, Tsuen Wan
Rm B, G/F, 218 Ma Wan Main Street Central, Ma Wan
Winnie Yu Wai-ming:
Rm 1603, 10th floor, Perfect Commercial Building, 20 Austin Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui
Rm 251, +WOO Phase 1, Tin Shui Wai
(or offices of district councillors Leon Kwan, Lam Chun and Frasier Hau)
Jimmy Sham, Leung Kwok-hung (“Long hair”):
Rm B2, 4/F, Tai Cheong Factory Building, 3 Wing Ming Street, Cheung Sha Wan (League of Social Democrats)
Eddie Chu Hoi-dick:
Rm 101, G/F, Hong Shui House, Shui Pin Wai Estate, Yuen Long
P.O. Box no. 33854, Sheung Wan Post Office
Tiffany Yuen Ka-wai:
Unit 8, G/F, Tin Lai House, Tin Wan Estate, Aberdeen
Gwyneth Ho Kwai-lam and Joshua Wong:
P.O. Box no. 73962, Kowloon Central Post Office (do not state the name of addressee on envelope)
Carol Ng Man-yee:
19/F Wing Wong Commercial Building, 557–559 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei (mark “letter to Carol Ng” on envelope)
Andy Chui Chi-kin:
№29, G/F, Yue Shun House, Yue Wan Estate, Chai Wan (mark “letter to Andy Chui” on envelope)
Rm 1101, Kowloon Plaza, 485 Castle Peak Road, Lai Chi Kok (posted by Wall-fare)
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