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Their Sons Sought a More Democratic Hong Kong, and Got Prison

当他们的儿子为香港的民主被关进监狱

HONG KONG — In August, a court in Hong Kong sentenced three young pro-democracy activists to six to eight months in prison, making them what some have called the first political prisoners in the former British colony since its return to Chinese rule two decades ago.

香港——今年8月,香港一家法院判处三名年轻的亲民主活动人士六到八个月的监禁,让他们成为一些人称之为自从香港主权20年前回归中国以来,这个英国前殖民地的首批政治犯。

On Tuesday, the city’s highest court said it would hear their appeals. All three — Joshua Wong, 21; Alex Chow, 27; and Nathan Law, 24 — are free on bail pending the outcome of the appeal.

周二,香港最高法院表示将听取他们的上诉。在上诉结果出来前,这三人——21岁的黄之锋、27岁的周永康,和24岁的罗冠聪——目前都保释在外

For the young men, the sentences are time lost from studies or budding careers, and a black mark on their futures.

对这些年轻人来说,被判入狱意味着他们的学习或崭露头角的职业生涯将失去一段时间,被判刑对他们的未来也是的一个污点。

But they are also a burden for their parents, who have endured the anguish of seeing their sons taken away in handcuffs. In rare interviews, they shared the heartbreak and pride of watching their children come of age as leaders of a protest movement for free elections.

但他们被判入狱也让他们的父母重负,他们的父母经受了看到儿子被铐上带走的痛苦。在罕见的采访中,这三人的父母讲述了看到自己的儿子成长为争取自由选举抗议运动领袖的心碎和自豪。

They also described grappling with disagreements with their children on career choice and political ideology, highlighting the generation gap that has divided Hong Kong in its struggle to define its future as part of China.

他们还描述了设法解决在职业选择和政治意识形态上与自己孩子发生的分歧,凸显了在香港作为中国的一部分确定自身未来的奋斗中存在的让香港人产生分歧的代沟。

‘Repent of His Sin’

‘忏悔他的罪’

Roger Wong has seen his son Joshua Wong arrested at political protests, ejected from countries that feared crossing Beijing and even assaulted by strangers. Once, his son came home with a black eye; another time, with egg in his hair.

黄伟明(Roger Wong)曾几次看到儿子黄之锋在政治抗议活动中被逮捕,看到儿子被害怕北京不高兴的国家禁止入境,甚至还看到过儿子遭陌生人袭击。有一次,儿子回家时一只眼眶青肿,还有一次,他的头发里有碎鸡蛋

Still, his heart sank on a windless August morning when his son paused at the door to kiss him. That was the day the court sentenced Joshua to six months in prison for unlawful assembly, in connection with his role, at age 17, in leading the 2014 demonstrations later known as the Umbrella Revolution.

尽管如此,当儿子在8月份一个寂静的早晨,在门口停下来吻了他一下时,黄伟明的心情仍非常沉重。那天,法院判处黄之锋六个月的监禁,罪名是非法集会,这与他17岁时领导了后来被称为“雨伞革命”的2014年的示威活动有关。

“He had not done that since he was a little boy,” said Mr. Wong, 53, a former computer professional who now trades online.

“他好久之前,小时候才会,”黄伟明说,他今年53岁,曾是一名计算机专业人士,现在在家中进行网上交易。

The youngest of the three jailed activists, his son emerged as the international face of the opposition, even being featured in a Netflix documentary, “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower.”

黄之锋是三名被监禁的活动人士中最年轻的,他在那次抗议活动中曾在国际上抛头露面,甚至成了Netflix的纪录片《黄之锋:与超级大国对阵的少年》(Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower)的主角。

But Mr. Wong said he wakes each day prepared to see headlines blaring more bad news. To avoid the sidelong glances or adulation of strangers, he and his wife, Grace Ng, a homemaker, no longer say their son’s name in public, even when speaking about him with each other.

但黄伟明说,他每天醒来时都准备好会看到更多的坏消息。为了避免遭人侧目或来自陌生人的过分称赞,他和操持家务的妻子格雷丝·吴(Grace Ng)已不再在公开场合提儿子的名字,就连他们在谈论儿子时也不提。

Mr. Wong, who identifies as a devout Christian, said the worst kind of attention came from fellow believers. “The greatest pressure has come from Christians who out of nowhere offered to pray for my son to ‘repent of his sin,’” he said, adding that such remarks came from friends dear to him.

黄伟明说自己是一名虔诚的基督徒,他说,最糟糕的关注来自其他的信徒。“最大压力反而来自基督徒,很多都无故走过来为我儿子认罪祷告。”他说,并补充说,这种说法出自他珍惜的朋友。

He said he supports his son’s pro-democracy activism, saying Joshua Wong learned his sense of mission from his religious upbringing.

黄伟明说,他支持儿子参加的亲民主活动,他说,黄之锋成长的宗教背景让他学会了使命感。

In fact, Mr. Wong said, his son was once an outspoken Christian, too, but now keeps his religious views out of the public eye. And differences over the role of faith in public policy have become a source of tension between them.

黄伟明说,其实,儿子也曾是一名直言不讳的基督徒,但现在已不再公开阐述自己的宗教观点。父子俩对信仰在公共政策中的作用问题有分歧,这也是他们之间关系紧张的一个原因。

The two clashed over same-sex marriage, which Hong Kong does not allow. His son supports it, but Mr. Wong has organized protests against it and called for removing rainbow-colored lion statues that were erected in Hong Kong in support of LGBT rights.

他两人在同性婚姻问题上发生了冲突,香港不允许同性婚姻。虽然儿子支持同性婚姻,但黄伟明曾组织过抗议同性婚姻的活动,他还曾呼吁搬走香港的两个涂着彩虹的狮子雕塑,它们是为支持LGBT权利建造的。

Even now, the feelings may be a bit raw. Asked about their dispute, Mr. Wong threatened to cut short the interview.

即使到现在,那次冲突也许仍很伤感情。当被问及他们的争议时,黄伟明威胁要结束采访。

He prefers to talk about another moment. After his son kissed him and his wife goodbye, he apologized. “I am sorry that I put so much pressure on you,” Mr. Wong recalled his son saying.

他更喜欢谈另一个时刻。儿子与他和他的妻子吻别时,还向他们道了歉。“他说,不好意思,给你这么大压力,”黄伟明回忆儿子这样说。

‘Selfish People Like You’

‘像你这样自私的人’

Helen Ngai had different hopes for her son, Alex Chow. Having helped build a prospering family business, she wanted her children to enjoy a life of comfort and status. She urged Alex Chow, the older of her two sons, to become a university professor.

海伦·魏(Helen Ngai)对儿子周永康寄予厚望。在帮助建立了一个兴旺的家族企业之后,她希望她的孩子们能过上舒适体面的生活。她有两个儿子,她希望大儿子周永康能成为一名大学教授。

This fall, he was supposed to go to the University of California, Berkeley, to pursue a doctorate in geography.

今年秋天,他原本应该前往加州大学伯克利分校攻读地理学博士学位。

Instead, he went to prison.

然而,他却进了监狱。

“I wish my son had not taken this path,” Ms. Ngai, 58, said in an interview in a stylishly furnished apartment in Hong Kong, one of many properties that she and her husband own around the world, including in Queens.

“我希望他沒有走这条路,”58岁的魏女士在香港一套装修豪华的公寓里接受采访时说,这套公寓是她和丈夫在世界各地、包括在纽约皇后区拥有的多处房产之一。

“I’m just a selfish person. All I care about is making money,” she said. “Many in Hong Kong are selfish people. Why do so much for them?”

“我只不过是一個真的很自私的人,我只是顾着自己挣钱,”她说。“香港人很多都是自私的人,为什么要为他们付出呢?”

She said she was puzzled when her son volunteered in high school to counsel underperforming students. She could not understand the guilt that he confessed to her over living in a big apartment. She ridiculed him for considering a job at Greenpeace that would have paid $38,000 per year.

她说,当儿子在高中时志愿为学习不好的学生提供帮助时,她曾感到困惑。她无法理解儿子向她表示,住这么大的公寓让他内疚。她曾嘲笑他考虑去绿色和平组织工作,那份工作的年薪是38000美元(约合25万元人民币)。

“Is that even enough for food and housing?” she recalled challenging him.

“够你吃,够你住?”她回忆自己曾这样挑问过儿子。

The Umbrella Revolution exposed such generation gaps among Hong Kong’s 7.2 million people. While those under age 40 overwhelmingly supported the protesters, people above that age were more critical, according to a Chinese University survey.

雨伞革命暴露出香港720万人口之间的代沟。根据香港中文大学的一项调查,在40岁以下的人群中,绝大多数人支持抗议者,而在40岁以上的人群中批评者居多。

Ms. Ngai and her husband, Sidney Chow, are firmly in that older generation.

魏女士和她的丈夫西德尼·周(Sidney Chow)都属于上一辈的人。

“I always tell my son, we must not oppose the country or the party because, at the end of the day, we are Chinese people,” Ms. Ngai said.

“我跟他说,一定不能反对国家,不能反对党,因为始终我们是中国人,”魏女士说。

The couple is the sort of success story that has helped make Hong Kong one of the world’s wealthiest cities. Their garment business has factories across South Asia. The two travel to Hanoi, Paris and New York so often that Ms. Ngai said her son was essentially “raised by maids.”

香港成为世界上最富有的城市之一,靠的就是这对夫妇的那种成功故事。他们服装业务的工厂遍布南亚。夫妇俩经常到河内、巴黎和纽约出差,频繁程度之高,魏女士说,她的儿子基本上是“由工人养大的”。

Ms. Ngai also cashed in on Hong Kong’s supercharged housing market, flipping apartments for profits. This put her at odds with her son, who accused her of driving up rents for working families.

魏女士还在香港的房地产市场上赚了钱,从炒房中获得了不菲的利润。这使她与儿子发生争执,儿子指责她促进了工薪家庭房租的增长。

“It’s selfish people like you who are holding back society,” she recalled her son accusing her.

“就是你这些自私的人堵住社会,”她回忆儿子曾这样指责她。

“If I hadn’t, would you have such a big apartment?” Ms. Ngai retorted.

“如果我不这样,你会有这么大间屋住吗?”魏女士反问道。

“I would rather live in subsidized housing,” her son replied.

“我会宁愿住公屋,”儿子答道。

“We never had to worry too much about money,” she said. “That’s why for him it’s all about justice and other people’s misfortunes.”

“所以我地(我们)对钱看得很淡,”她说。“所以他才唯一会喊公义公义,觉得点解人地咁慘(觉得为什么人们这么惨)。”

The first time she visited her son in prison, she cried so hard she could hardly speak. In an attempt to cheer her up, Alex Chow said prison had given him a new cause: advocating better conditions for inmates and prison employees.

她第一次去监狱看望儿子时,哭得几乎说不出话来。为了让她高兴起来,周永康说,进监狱让他有了一个新目标:为犯人和监狱雇员争取更好的条件。

Her sorrow turned to sighs.

她的悲伤变成了叹息。

“I told him not to meddle in other people’s affairs,” she said, “but he said that what is wrong must be set right.”

“我叫他不要多事,不关他的事啊,”她说,“但他说他觉得不合理的事就要改良。”

‘They Always Go for the Leaders’

‘他们总是先抓领导者’

On the night when protesters stormed government headquarters, Lam So-lan was across Hong Kong’s picturesque harbor attending a relative’s wedding.

抗议者冲击政府大楼的那天晚上,林素兰正在香港风景如画的港口参加一个亲戚的婚礼。

She thought her son, Nathan Law, then 21, was back in his college dormitory.

她还以为自己的儿子、时年21岁的罗冠聪是在他的大学宿舍里。

She was stunned when someone switched on a television, and there he was rallying demonstrators.

有人把电视打开时,她惊呆了,屏幕上竟然是儿子在那里召集示威者的场面。

“I knew he was in big trouble the moment he picked up the microphone,” said Ms. Lam, who had warned her son against getting involved in politics. “They always go for the leaders.”

“他拿起咪(话筒),我就知大件事了,”林女士说,她曾警告过儿子不要涉足政治。“他们要捉一定会先捉拿咪的。”

Ms. Lam, 55, said she just wanted Mr. Law to focus on his studies. Born poor in China’s southeastern province of Guangdong, she had moved to Hong Kong with her three sons in 1999 in hopes of providing them a better life. She raised them almost entirely as a single mother, living in public housing and working as a janitor and in other jobs to put her sons through school.

现年55岁的林女士说,她只是希望罗冠聪能专心学业。她出生在中国东南部的广东省,家境贫寒,1999年她带着三个儿子一起搬到了香港,希望能让他们过上更好的生活。她几乎完全是作为一个单身母亲把儿子们抚养大的,他们住的是公共住房,她靠做清洁工和打零工挣钱,供儿子们上学。

She divorced her husband when Mr. Law, the youngest, was still in high school. In an interview, he described his upbringing as “working class.”

她与丈夫离婚时,最小的儿子罗冠聪还在上高中。在一次采访中,罗冠聪把自己的成长环境描述为“工人阶级”。

Despite that, she said she always tried to give her sons a lot of freedom.

她说,尽管条件不好,但她一直努力让儿子们得到很多自由。

“My only expectations are that he studies, doesn’t do heroin or gamble — the minimum requirements,” she said.

“我的期望就只是要他乖乖读书,不要吸食白粉,不要賭,都是最低的要求,”她说。

However, she said she objected when she first learned that Mr. Law had become a leader of a pro-democracy group at his university.

但是,她说,她第一次听到罗冠聪成为他所在大学一个民主团体的一名领导人时,她曾表示反对。

“I just wanted stability,” she said.

“我不过是想要安定,”她说。

“If everyone is selfish, society will not change,” she recalled her son responding.

“人人都这么自私,社会就不会改变,”她回忆自己的儿子曾这样回答。

She said she had another reason for feeling dread. Growing up in China, she had seen the political violence of the Cultural Revolution. She feared that challenging power would only bring retribution.

她说她有另一个理由感到恐惧。她在中国大陆长大,看到过文化大革命的政治暴力。她担心,挑战权力的后果只会是受惩罚。

On the first night of the Umbrella Revolution, she said she huddled in a hotel room with relatives, worried sick.

在雨伞革命的第一个夜晚,她说,她和亲戚们躲在一间旅馆房间里,担心得要命。

“He’s young. He’s inexperienced. He has not been through the kind of purge that happened on the mainland,” Ms. Lam said.

“他年轻,没有经验,又未经过大陆的倒來倒去,”林女士说。

In the years that followed, her fears appeared to be borne out.

在雨伞革命结束后的几年里,她的恐惧似乎得到了证实。

After her son was elected to Hong Kong’s legislature last year, she watched as the Beijing-backed government moved to disqualify him after he mocked the oath of office. She also saw courts give him increasingly stiffer sentences, first to community service, and then, in August, to eight months in prison.

罗冠聪去年当选了香港立法会议员后,她眼看着得到北京支持的政府宣布取消了儿子的议员资格,因为他在就职宣誓中插入了嘲笑的语言。她还看到法院向儿子宣布越来越严厉的判决,先是判他社区服务,后在今年8月,改判他八个月的监禁。

“He said, ‘Hong Kong wasn’t like the mainland.’ And I said, ‘You’ll see. I’m worried for you even if you’re not,’” Ms. Lam recalled. “Now it’s all happened.”

“他说,香港现在还跟大陆不同。我说,你迟一点再看看,他說不用怕,我就是怕。”林女士说。“现在一切手段都出来了。”

欢迎在Twitter上关注本文作者Alan Wong @alanwongw

翻译:Cindy Hao

点击查看本文英文版。

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