A teacher and a former primary school principal by trade, Szeto started his political career organizing fellow teachers, building Hong Kong’s Professional Teachers’ Union into one of the territory’s most powerful unions.
But he is best known as a democracy advocate. Szeto, like many Hong Kongers, was shocked by Beijing’s military suppression of the pro-democracy protests on Tiananmen, in which at least several hundred people were killed.
Along with others he organized the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Democratic Movements in China. The group, which he headed until his death, became a key advocate for both the victims of Tiananmen and for mainland dissidents jailed by the Chinese government.