We have come to Sweden to run in the nude, because it was here where Mo Yan, a defender of censorship and a senior Communist cadre, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature last year.
With our act, we want to remind this forgetful world that there is a staunch denouncer of censorship, a witness of the Tian’anmen Massacre in 1989, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who was sentenced to eleven years in prison for his writings and views, and he is now behind bars in China. His name is Liu Xiaobo.
With our act, we want to remind this forgetful world of an outstanding artist named Liu Xia. She has no particular interest in politics, but just because she is the wife of Liu Xiaobo, she has been placed under house arrest since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October, 2010.
With our act, we want to remind this forgetful world that, in Beijing, the capital of China, there is an ordinary resident named Liu Hui, a man who is not politically inclined. But because he is the brother of Liu Xiaobo’s wife and he revealed bits of family information to the rest of the world, the Chinese authorities trumped up “financial charges” against him and sentenced him also to eleven years in prison.
With our act, we want to remind this forgetful world that the persecution against Liu Xiaobo and his family is still ongoing and has never relented, and Liu Xia is on the verge of mental collapse. According to Chinese law, she should not be a prisoner just because her husband is a prisoner. She has to breathe free air to heal her trauma.
We have come here to run in the nude, because while such horrible persecution-by-association has been carried out, the Chinese Communist Party has mobilized its propaganda apparatus, now draped in the award from the Swedish Academy, to challenge the universal values of the human race as never before. Since the winter of 2012, well over a hundred Chinese citizens have become the newest prisoners of conscience and been locked up in jails across China, and 122 Tibetans have self-immolated in one last protest against the Chinese suppression.
In a world all too surreal, Liu Xia cried out, “Both Mo Yan and Liu Xiaobo are Nobel Laureates, why are they treated so differently?”
Liao Yiwu, author, former political prisoner;
Bei Ling, poet, former editor of an underground magazine, deported from China in 2000;
Wang Yiliang, author, former literary criminal;
Meng Huang, artist, who mailed an empty chair to Liu Xiaobo in prison, and doesn’t know the whereabouts of the chair. In 2012 he again mailed an empty chair, this time to the Swedish Academy, hoping that Mo Yan would take the chair back to Liu Xiaobo. He didn’t get his wish;
Wang Juntao, scholar, former political prisoner.