Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who is Liu Xiaobo?

He is in prison in China.
His crime? Wanting to be free. 
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

He's pictured above with his wife, the artist Liu Xia. 
"My love [for you]," he wrote, "is solid and sharp, 
capable of piercing through any obstacle. 
Even if I were crushed into powder, 
I would still use my ashes to embrace you."

He advocates open multi-party elections, the separation of
government powers, free speech, and government accountability.

Here is a speech he was not allowed to
enter into evidence at his "trial":

I have no enemies, and no hatred. None of the police who have monitored, arrested and interrogated me, the prosecutors who prosecuted me, or the judges who sentence me, are my enemies. While I’m unable to accept your surveillance, arrest, prosecution or sentencing, I respect your professions and personalities, including Zhang Rongge and Pan Xueqing who act for the prosecution at present. I was aware of your respect and sincerity in your interrogation of me on December 3.
For hatred is corrosive of a person’s wisdom and conscience; the mentality of enmity can poison a nation’s spirit, instigate brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity, and block a nation’s progress to freedom and democracy. I hope therefore to be able to transcend my personal vicissitudes in understanding the development of the state and changes in society, to counter the hostility of the regime with the best of intentions, and defuse hate with love....
I do not feel guilty for following my constitutional right to freedom of expression, for fulfilling my social responsibility as a Chinese citizen. Even if accused of it, I would have no complaints.

 He is serving an 11-year sentence.