Dissident's Burial at Sea Has Unintended Consequence

Activists say it has created a global memorial
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2017 7:10 AM CDT
Dissident's Burial at Sea Has Unintended Consequence
In this image taken from video provided by the Shenyang Municipal Information Office, an urn containing the ashes of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo is lowered into the sea off the coast of Dalian in northeastern China's Liaoning Province.   (Shenyang Municipal Information Office via AP)

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo's supporters say that in casting his ashes into the sea, the Chinese government hoped to deprive them of a permanent resting place to hold dear. What it did instead was create the world's biggest memorial, say those supporters, who plan to gather next to and even in the ocean Wednesday—the seventh day since Liu's death from multiple organ failure related to cancer at age 61—as part of a staging of memorials around the planet.

The effort will follow water-minding acts and protests that have already occurred in New York, Boston, Melbourne, London, and Hong Kong. "The whole sea has become a place where we can be close to him," a friend tells the Guardian. Beijing's idea "backfired," adds another activist. "Now anyone can go to the sea and mourn." A report from the Canada-based Citizen Lab picked up by Quartz sees Beijing's hand in something else: It found that when users of Wechat—China's most popular messaging app—attempted to message an image of Liu to another user, the image was scrubbed and never made it to the intended recipient. (The dying Nobel Prize winner's last words were for his wife.)

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