Hundreds of people in Hong Kong honoring the memory of China's Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo laid flowers and offered their respects to the late political dissident at a makeshift shrine outside Beijing's representative office in the territory hours after he was announced dead on Thursday.
"We call on people worldwide to commemorate Liu's death and call for his wife Liu Xia's release from house arrest and to jointly condemn the communist regime for trampling on human lives," said Lee Cheuk-yan, secretary general of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China that organized the event.
"Liu Xiaobo sacrificed his freedom and life for the people's freedom," Alliance chairman Albert Ho said. "His spirit will long live among our hearts. We will continue with his legacy in fighting for a democratic China."
A protest march is being scheduled on Saturday to commemorate Liu.
Youth political party Demosisto also condemned China for Liu's ordeal.
"Mr. Liu passed away without receiving the respect and dignity he deserved," the group said in a statement. "We demand the Chinese government to immediately stop its suppression over dissidents and release all prisoners of conscience. We also call for the international community to continue pressuring the Chinese government to improve its human rights conditions."
Liu, one of China's most prominent independent intellectuals, had recently been moved to a hospital from prison after he was diagnosed as being in the final stages of liver cancer.
An outspoken critic of China's Communist Party, Liu was last detained in December 2008 and was sentenced a year later to 11 years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power" for his involvement in drafting a manifesto calling for peaceful democratic reform, known as Charter 08.
Liu was awarded the peace prize, given in 2010 for the first time to a Chinese citizen living in China, "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China" while he was behind bars.
He was announced dead late Thursday by the Shenyang Bureau of Justice in northeastern China's Liaoning Province.