Our PEN community of writers and activists from around the world are devastated by the latest news in the case of our friend and colleague Liu Xiaobo. We will continue, as we always have, to campaign for justice and for freedom for him and his wife, the poet and photographer Liu Xia, as Liu always has always done for others. Over the coming weeks we will be gathering messages of solidarity and support from this global community all of whom stand #WithLiuXiaobo.
Carol Ann Duffy:
‘In one of your poems, you write of the ‘cold and indifferent moon’. The same sky with this moon in it reaches over all of us, over you and me, over my freedom and your oppression. What we have in common is as various as our differences, but one of the things we share is our belief in the power of writing to challenge those things that limit, oppress, destroy, and deny. I am sorry that you have experienced this denial, this oppression so directly, but I want you to know that – whilst your punishment has attempted to reduce you – in my eyes you are magnified inside your work, your power, your courage, and your love. Thank you for everything you have done in your fight for a better world, and I wish you peace, health, and justice as you face this illness now.’
Chairman Mao’s New Shoes | Niran Okewole
For Liu Xiaobo
I Have No Enemies, Because…Said Liu Xiaobo | Yu Zhang
The Enemy, Written to Liu Xiaobo | Shi Tao
‘Your resolute and principled resistance to unjust authority has been an inspiration to thousands of people all over the world. You may rest assured that your example will continue to live in memory.’
‘Dear Liu Xiaobo, Are you free? We demand your freedom, in the same way that we demand it for ourselves. Freedom is what you love, and only for this love have you sacrificed your own freedom. I want you to understand that your freedom is crucial to our existence, and to that of prisoners everywhere. True freedom can only come from a fight.’
PEN International’s call to action can be found here.
For more information or press inquiries, please contact Sarah Perry at PEN International’s Secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org