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‘Our family will wait for him’: Wife of detained democrat Andrew Wan speaks out

In Hong Kong’s Shek Yam district, the wife of former lawmaker Andrew Wan was taking on an unfamiliar task: collecting the public’s letters for her husband, who has been held in custody awaiting trial under the national security law.

Wan, a stalwart of the Democratic Party, was among 47 pro-democracy figures who were charged with subversion under the national security law, which Beijing imposed on Hong Kong last year. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Her friends used to jokingly call her a “lazy cat,” but Wan’s wife found that she was facing one tough challenge after another. On Mother’s Day, she spoke to Apple Daily about the ways her life has changed, and how she plans to stay strong in the face of adversity.

“He has been very protective of me, so I relied on him a lot,” she said. “It really has been a major challenge for the two of us, and for our whole family. I think I’ll gradually develop the willpower.”

She has visited Wan in detention almost every day, and has also been busy with moving to a new home. The couple had lived in Shek Yam for more than a decade, but without Wan’s contribution to the family finances, his wife decided to move to a cheaper place.

She has also become Wan’s primary connection to the world, helping to pass messages in and out of the detention facility. She also manages Wan’s social media pages, in the hopes that the public will continue to express their support.

“He used to be able to do everything himself. Now he can’t do anything [in detention], he doesn’t have a lot of information, and he can’t deal with problems immediately. It’s hard to see him in a helpless state,” she said.

Wan’s latest stint in detention has made him more mature and grounded, but he still remains committed to his ideals, she said.

“He still believes that he made the right choices. He has firm beliefs … many people will change their values to fit with the times, but he hasn’t.”

Wan’s wife recalled receiving a “best wife” trophy from the lawmaker on one Mother’s Day, and became emotional when describing his “irreplaceable role” in her life, and that of their 12-year-old son.

“I hope he’ll take comfort from the fact that our family will always wait for him, no matter how long the wait will be. We’ll quietly support him and wait for him to return, and we hope we can be reunited soon.”

Click here for Chinese version

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