Weltweite Lesung am 20. März 2012 für den inhaftierten chinesischen Schriftsteller und Friedensnobelpreisträger
Aufruf und Pressematerial (auch: Englisch/Chinesisch)
Am 20. März 2012 organisiert das Internationale Literaturfestival Berlin (ILB) eine weltweite Lesung für den chinesischen Schriftsteller und Friedensnobelpreisträger Liu Xiaobo.
Liu Xiaobo (*28.12.1955) ist seit Juli 2009 im Gefängnis, am 25.12.2009 wurde er zu elf Jahren Haft verurteilt, nachdem er und andere Intellektuelle das Bürgerrechtsmanifest Charta 08 publiziert hatten. Die weltweite Lesung möchte Liu Xiaobos Werk noch bekannter machen und den Protest unterstützen. Vorgestellt wird die Charta 08 und einige seiner Gedichte.
Der Aufruf wurde bisher von folgenden Persönlichkeiten unterzeichnet: Héctor Abad (Kolumbien), Kwame Anthony Appiah (USA), Amir Hassan Cheheltan (Iran), Noam Chomsky (USA), Bei Dao (China), Ariel Dorfman (Chile), Péter Esterházy (Ungarn), Aminatta Forna (U.K., Sierra Leone), Juan Goytisolo (Spanien/ Marokko), Herta Müller (Deutschland/Rumänien), Amos Oz (Israel), Laura Restrepo (Kolumbien), Henrietta Rose-Innes (Süd-Afrika), Salman Rushdie (Indien/ USA), Tomaž Šalamun (Slovenien), Peter Schneider (Deutschland), Sjón (Island), Janne Teller (Dänemark), Dubravka Ugrešić (Kroatien/Niederlande), Anne Waldman (USA) und viele andere SchriftstellerInnen aller Kontinente.
Das ILB bittet Personen oder kulturelle Institutionen, Schulen, Universitäten und/oder Radio-Sender am 20. März Lesungen zu veranstalten. Damit alle UnterstützerInnen dieser Initiative von geplanten Veranstaltungen erfahren und sich koordinieren können, wird um Mitteilung gebeten. Email-Adresse: firstname.lastname@example.org. Auf der Website www.literaturfestival.com können alle Interessierten erfahren, wer bereits zugesagt hat und an der Aktion teilnehmen möchte.
Fon +49 (0) 30 - 27 87 86 65, Fax +49 (0) 30 - 27 87 86 85, email@example.com
Appeal for a worldwide reading on March 20th 2012 for Liu Xiaobo. He will be released in June 2020.
The international literature festival Berlin (ilb) calls on cultural institutions, schools, radio stations and interested parties to participate in a worldwide reading of prose and poems by the Chinese author and 2010 Nobel Peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo on March 20th 2012.
Three years ago, Liu was taken from his Beijing home and arrested. He waited more than 12 months to receive a formal sentence - 11 years of imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power.” After the announcement of Liu’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize last year, the Chinese authorities put his wife, Liu Xia, a poet and photographer, under strict house arrest. She vanished from the private and public sphere on October 18, 2010, and to this day no one can reach her, either through phone, cell or internet.
Liu Xiaobo was imprisoned three times before his last arrest in 2008. While serving his three years of “Reeducation through labor” between 1996 and 1999, he wrote many poems in prison, all dedicated to his wife Liu Xia. As a young man, Liu devoured books on western and Chinese philosophy and literature, and this experience is strongly reflected in his lyrical writing. From Confucius to Kant, from Sima Qian to Van Gogh or Jesus, for young Liu Xiaobo, knowledge had no borders. As a proliferate writer, his writing has influenced generations of young people in China since the 1980s. When his articles and books were banned and censored in mainland China, he began submitting his writings to overseas Chinese websites. His books have been published in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the USA. Liu's explosive and lyrical style, marked by its razor sharp criticisms and pervasive irony, has cooled down in recent years and transformed into more thoughtful and objective prose. He changed his role from an agitated activist to an observer and analyst. Mimicking the form of Czechoslovakia’s Charter 77, Liu Xiaobo and his Chinese colleagues selected a rational and peaceful way to express their concern for China's future development through their own manifesto, Charter 08. Freedom, equality, justice and human rights are universal values, standard in a modern society, and not inconsistent with the official rhetoric of the Chinese government, which touts China's rule of law. Both within the Chinese Constitution and within the international treaties the Chinese government has signed, there is a guarantee of the freedoms of expression, assembly and publication. Thus, the accusation that Liu was “inciting subversion of state power” is a joke and a slap to China's own face.
In fact, the more than 800 articles authored by Liu in the past ten years indicate exactly the opposite. In his book, Civil Awakening, The Dawn of a Free China, published in 2005, Liu explained that the reform in China is bottom-up and not top-down; that is, it does not start with the government, but rather, the real momentum of reform is generated by civil society, among the people at the grassroots level. The constant confrontation between common citizens, peasants, workers and official forces has awakened the consciousness of the Chinese people, so that they now are aware of their basic rights. As Liu said: “The slow but progressive process of changes cannot be achieved through radical demands of the government to remodel the whole society. The present tendency is that the self-generated changes in the society will slowly push the regime to move toward change.”
Liu Xiaobo is not only a fighter for democracy and freedom of expression, but also a humble humanist. That's why the Chinese regime cannot tolerate him, because he does not only demand reform and a democratic future for China, he also demands a re-examination of Chinese history and an end to China's one party dictatorship. He truly touches on the root of the problem, which is why the CCP is afraid of him and prefers to keep this agitator behind bars.
The goal of the worldwide reading is to share Liu Xiaobo's works with a broader readership, to remind the world that a humanist, a freedom fighter, an outstanding writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner is still in a Chinese prison and to express the protest against it.
The international literature festival Berlin called for a worldwide reading on March 20th 2012, with a reading of Liu Xiaobo’s Prose and lyrics. As many as 100 institutions, including radio and television stations, either participated in or reported on the worldwide readings across all continents.
The texts intended to be read on this worldwide reading are available in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Institutions and persons who would like to participate in the reading are asked to inform us of their wish to be involved. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
This year marks 100 years since China’s [first] Constitution,1 the 60th anniversary of the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 30th anniversary of the birth of the Democracy Wall, and the 10th year since the Chinese government signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Having experienced a prolonged period of human rights disasters and challenging and tortuous struggles, the awakening Chinese citizens are becoming increasingly aware that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal values shared by all humankind, and that democracy, republicanism, and constitutional government make up the basic institutional framework of modern politics. A “modernization” bereft of these universal values and this basic political framework is a disastrous process that deprives people of their rights, rots away their humanity, and destroys their dignity. Where is China headed in the 21st century? Will it continue with this “modernization” under authoritarian rule, or will it endorse universal values, join the mainstream civilization, and build a democratic form of government? This is an unavoidable decision.
The tremendous historic changes of the mid-19th century exposed the decay of the traditional Chinese autocratic system and set the stage for the greatest transformation China had seen in several thousand years. The Self- Strengthening Movement [1861–1895] sought improvements in China’s technical capability by acquiring manufacturing techniques, scientific knowledge, and military technologies from the West; China’s defeat in the first Sino-Japanese War [1894–1895] once again exposed the obsolescence of its system; the Hundred Days’ Reform  touched upon the area of institutional innovation, but ended in failure due to cruel suppression by the die-hard faction [at the Qing court]. The Xinhai Revolution , on the surface, buried the imperial system that had lasted for more than 2,000 years and established Asia’s first republic. But, because of the particular historical circumstances of internal and external troubles, the republican system of government was short lived, and autocracy made a comeback.
The failure of technical imitation and institutional renewal prompted deep reflection among our countrymen on the root cause of China’s cultural sickness, and the ensuing May Fourth  and New Culture Movements [1915–1921] under the banner of “science and democracy.” But the course of China’s political democratization was forcibly cut short due to frequent civil wars and foreign invasion. The process of a constitutional government began again after China’s victory in the War of Resistance against Japan [1937–1945], but the outcome of the civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists plunged China into the abyss of modern-day totalitarianism. The “New China” established in 1949 is a “people’s republic” in name, but in reality it is a “party domain.” The ruling party monopolizes all the political, economic, and social resources. It has created a string of human rights disasters, such as the Anti-Rightist Campaign, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, June Fourth, and the suppression of unofficial religious activities and the rights defense movement, causing tens of millions of deaths, and exacting a disastrous price from both the people and the country.
The “Reform and Opening Up” of the late 20th century extricated China from the pervasive poverty and absolute totalitarianism of the Mao Zedong era, and substantially increased private wealth and the standard of living of the common people. Individual economic freedom and social privileges were partially restored, a civil society began to grow, and calls for human rights and political freedom among the people increased by the day. Those in power, while implementing economic reforms aimed at marketization and privatization, also began to shift from a position of rejecting human rights to one of gradually recognizing them. In 1997 and 1998, the Chinese government signed two important international human rights treaties.2 In 2004, the National People’s Congress amended the Constitution to add that “[the State] respects and guarantees human rights.” And this year, the government has promised to formulate and implement a “National Human Rights Action Plan.” But so far, this political progress has largely remained on paper: there are laws, but there is no rule of law; there is a constitution, but no constitutional government; this is still the political reality that is obvious to all. The ruling elite continues to insist on its authoritarian grip on power, rejecting political reform. This has caused official corruption, difficulty in establishing rule of law, the absence of human rights, moral bankruptcy, social polarization, abnormal economic development, destruction of both the natural and cultural environment, no institutionalized protection of citizens’ rights to freedom, property, and the pursuit of happiness, the constant accumulation of all kinds of social conflicts, and the continuous surge of resentment. In particular, the intensification of antagonism between the government and the people, and the dramatic increase in mass incidents, indicate a catastrophic loss of control in the making, suggesting that the backwardness of the current system has reached a point where change must occur.
II. Our Fundamental Concepts
At this historical juncture that will decide the future destiny of China, it is necessary to reflect on the modernization process of the past hundred and some years and reaffirm the following concepts:
Freedom: Freedom is at the core of universal values. The rights of speech, publication, belief, assembly, association, movement, to strike, and to march and demonstrate are all the concrete expressions of freedom. Where freedom does not flourish, there is no modern civilization to speak of.
Human Rights: Human rights are not bestowed by a state; they are inherent rights enjoyed by every person. Guaranteeing human rights is both the most important objective of a government and the foundation of the legitimacy of its public authority; it is also the intrinsic requirement of the policy of “putting people first.” China’s successive political disasters have all been closely related to the disregard for human rights by the ruling establishment. People are the mainstay of a nation; a nation serves its people; government exists for the people.
Equality: The integrity, dignity, and freedom of every individual, regardless of social status, occupation, gender, economic circumstances, ethnicity, skin color, religion, or political belief, are equal. The principles of equality before the law for each and every person and equality in social, economic, cultural, and political rights of all citizens must be implemented.
Republicanism: Republicanism is “joint governing by all, peaceful coexistence,” that is, the separation of powers for checks and balances and the balance of interests; that is, a community comprising many diverse interests, different social groups, and a plurality of cultures and faiths, seeking to peacefully handle public affairs on the basis of equal participation, fair competition, and joint discussion.
Democracy: The most fundamental meaning is that sovereignty resides in the people and the government elected by the people. Democracy has the following basic characteristics:
1) The legitimacy of political power comes from the people; the source of political power is the people.
2) Political control is exercised through choices made by the people.
3) Citizens enjoy the genuine right to vote; officials in key positions at all levels of government must be the product of elections at regular intervals.
4) Respect the decisions of the majority while protecting the basic human rights of the minority. In a word, democracy is the modern public instrument for creating a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Constitutionalism: Constitutionalism is the principle of guaranteeing basic freedoms and rights of citizens as defined by the constitution through legal provisions and the rule of law, restricting and defining the boundaries of government power and conduct, and providing appropriate institutional capability to carry this out. In China, the era of imperial power is long gone, never to return; in the world at large, the authoritarian system is on the wane; citizens ought to become the true masters of their states. The fundamental way out for China lies only in dispelling the subservient notion of reliance on “enlightened rulers” and “upright officials,” promoting public consciousness of rights as fundamental and participation as a duty, and putting into practice freedom, engaging indemocracy, and respecting the law.
III. Our Basic Positions
Thus, in the spirit of responsible and constructive citizens, we put forth the following specific positions regarding various aspects of state administration, citizens’ rights and interests, and social development:
1. Constitutional Amendment: Based on the aforementioned values and concepts, amend the Constitution, deleting clauses in the current Constitution that are not in conformity with the principle that sovereignty resides in the people, so that the Constitution can truly become a document that guarantees human rights and allows for the exercise of public power, and become the enforceable supreme law that no individual, group, or party can violate, establishing the foundation of the legal authority for democratizing China.
2. Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances: Construct a modern government that separates powers and maintains checks and balances among them, that guarantees the separation of legislative, judicial, and executive powers. Establish the principle of statutory administration and responsible government to prevent excessive expansion of executive power; government should be responsible to taxpayers; establish the system of separation of powersand checks and balances between the central and local governments; the central power must be clearly defined and mandated by the Constitution, and the localities must exercise full autonomy.
3. Legislative Democracy: Legislative bodies at all levels should be created through direct elections; maintain the principle of fairness and justice in making law; and implement legislative democracy.
4. Judicial Independence: The judiciary should transcend partisanship, be free from any interference, exercise judicial independence, and guarantee judicial fairness; it should establish a constitutional court and a system to investigate violations of the Constitution, and uphold the authority of the Constitution. Abolish as soon as possible the Party’s Committees of Political and Legislative Affairs at all levels that seriously endanger the country’s rule of law. Prevent private use of public instruments.
5. Public Use of Public Instruments: Bring the armed forces under state control. Military personnel should render loyalty to the Constitution and to the country. Political party organizations should withdraw from the armed forces; raise the professional standards of the armed forces. All public employees including the police should maintain political neutrality. Abolish discrimination in hiring of public employees based on party affiliation; there should be equality in hiring regardless of party affiliation.
6. Human Rights Guarantees: Guarantee human rights in earnest; protect human dignity. Set up a Commission on Human Rights, responsible to the highest organ of popular will, to prevent government abuse of public authority and violations of human rights, and, especially, to guarantee the personal freedom of citizens. No one shall suffer illegal arrest, detention, subpoena, interrogation, or punishment. Abolish the Reeducation-Through-Labor system.
7. Election of Public Officials: Fully implement the system of democratic elections to realize equal voting rights based on “one person, one vote.” Systematically and gradually implement direct elections of administrative heads at all levels. Regular elections based on free competition and citizen participation in elections for legal public office are inalienable basic human rights.
8. Urban-Rural Equality: Abolish the current urban-rural two-tier household registration system to realize the constitutional right of equality before the law for all citizens and guarantee the citizens’ right to move freely.
9. Freedom of Association: Guarantee citizens’ right to freedom of association. Change the current system of registration upon approval for community groups to a system of record-keeping. Lift the ban on political parties. Regulate party activities according to the Constitution and law; abolish the privilege of one-party monopoly on power; establish the principles of freedom of activities of political parties and fair competition for political parties; normalize and legally regulate party politics.
10. Freedom of Assembly: Freedoms to peacefully assemble, march, demonstrate, and express [opinions] are citizens’ fundamental freedoms stipulated by the Constitution; they should not be subject to illegal interference and unconstitutional restrictions by the ruling party and the government.
11. Freedom of Expression: Realize the freedom of speech, freedom to publish, and academic freedom; guarantee the citizens’ right to know and right to supervise [public institutions]. Enact a “News Law” and a “Publishing Law,” lift the ban on reporting, repeal the “crime of inciting subversion of state power” clause in the current Criminal Law, and put an end to punishing speech as a crime.
12. Freedom of Religion: Guarantee freedom of religion and freedom of belief, and implement separation of religion and state so that activities involving religion and faith are not subjected to government interference. Examine and repeal administrative statutes, administrative rules, and local statutes that restrict or deprive citizens of religious freedom; ban management of religious activities by administrative legislation. Abolish the system that requires that religious groups (and including places of worship) obtain prior approval of their legal status in order to register, and replace it with a system of record-keeping that requires no scrutiny.
13. Civic Education: Abolish political education and political examinations that are heavy on ideology and serve the one-party rule. Popularize civic education based on universal values and civil rights, establish civic consciousness, and advocate civic virtues that serve society.
14. Property Protection: Establish and protect private property rights, and implement a system based on a free and open market economy; guarantee entrepreneurial freedom, and eliminate administrative monopolies; set up a Committee for the Management of State-Owned Property, responsible to the highest organ of popular will; launch reform of property rights in a legal and orderly fashion, and clarify the ownership of property rights and those responsible; launch a new land movement, advance land privatization, and guarantee in earnest the land property rights of citizens, particularly the farmers.
15. Fiscal Reform: Democratize public finances and guarantee taxpayers’ rights. Set up the structure and operational mechanism of a public finance system with clearly defined authority and responsibilities, and establish a rational and effective system of decentralized financial authority among various levels of government; carry out a major reform of the tax system, so as to reduce tax rates, simplify the tax system, and equalize the tax burden. Administrative departments may not increase taxes or create new taxes at will without sanction by society obtained through a public elective process and resolution by organs of popular will. Pass property rights reform to diversify and introduce competition mechanisms into the market; lower the threshold for entry into the financial field and create conditions for the development of privately-owned financial enterprises, and fully energize the financial system.
16. Social Security: Establish a social security system that covers all citizens and provides them with basic security in education, medical care, care for the elderly, and employment.
17. Environmental Protection: Protect the ecological environment, promote sustainable development, and take responsibility for future generations and all humanity; clarify and impose the appropriate responsibilities that state and government officials at all levels must take to this end; promote participation and oversight by civil society groups in environmental protection.
18. Federal Republic: Take part in maintaining regional peace and development with an attitude of equality and fairness, and create an image of a responsible great power. Protect the free systems of Hong Kong and Macau .On the premise of freedom and democracy, seek a reconciliation plan for the mainland and Taiwan through equal negotiations and cooperative interaction. Wisely explore possible paths and institutional blueprints for the common prosperity of all ethnic groups, and establish the Federal Republic of China under the framework of a democratic and constitutional government.
19. Transitional Justice: Restore the reputation of and give state compensation to individuals, as well as their families, who suffered political persecution during past political movements; release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience; release all people convicted for their beliefs; establish a Commission for Truth Investigation to find the truth of historical events, determine responsibility, and uphold justice; seek social reconciliation on this foundation.
China, as a great nation of the world, one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and a member of the Human Rights Council, ought to make its own contribution to peace for humankind and progress in human rights. Regrettably, however, of all the great nations of the world today, China alone still clings to an authoritarian way of life and has, as a result, created an unbroken chain of human rights disasters and social crises, held back the development of the Chinese people, and hindered the progress of human civilization. This situation must change! We cannot put off political democratization reforms any longer. Therefore, in the civic spirit of daring to take action, we are issuing Charter 08. We hope that all Chinese citizens who share this sense of crisis, responsibility, and mission, whether officials or common people and regardless of social background, will put aside our differences to seek common ground and come to take an active part in this citizens’ movement, to promote the great transformation of Chinese society together, so that we can soon establish a free, democratic, and constitutional nation, fulfilling the aspirations and dreams that our countrymen have been pursuing tirelessly for more than a hundred years.
Translated from Chinese by Human Rights in China
Charta 08 - Mandarin
今年是中国立宪百年,《世界人权宣言》公布 60 周年,"民主墙"诞生 30 周年,中国政府签署《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》10 周年。在经历了长期的人权灾难和艰难曲折的抗争历程之后, 觉醒的中国公民日渐清楚地认识到,自由、平等、人权是人类共同的普世价值;民主、共和、宪政 是现代政治的基本制度架构。抽离了这些普世价值和基本政制架构的"现代化",是剥夺人的权 利、腐蚀人性、摧毁人的尊严的灾难过程。21 世纪的中国将走向何方,是继续这种威权统治下的 "现代化",还是认同普世价值、融入主流文明、建立民主政体?这是一个不容回避的抉择
世纪中期的历史巨变,暴露了中国传统专制制度的腐朽,揭开了中华大地上"数千年未有之大变 局"的序幕。洋务运动追求器物层面的进良,甲午战败再次暴露了体制的过时; 戊戌变法触及到制度层面的革新,终因顽固派的残酷镇压而归于失败; 辛亥革命在表面上埋葬了延续 2000 多年的皇权制度,建立了亚洲第一个共和国。囿于当时内忧外患的特定历史条件,共和政体只是昙花一现,专制主义旋即卷土重来。器物模仿和制度更新的失败,推动国人深入到对文化病根的反思, 遂有以 "科学与民主"为旗帜的"五四"新文化运动,因内战频仍和外敌入侵,中国政治民主化历程被迫 中断。抗日战争胜利后的中国再次开启了宪政历程,然而国共内战的结果使中国陷入了现代极权主 义的深渊。1949 年建立的"新中国",名义上是"人民共和国",实质上是" 党天下"。执政党垄断了所有政治、经济和社会资源,制造了反右、大跃进、文革、六四、打压民间宗教活动与维权运 动等一系列人权灾难,致使数千万人失去生命,国民和国家都付出了极为惨重的代价。
,民间对人权和政治自由的呼声日益高涨。执政者也在进行走向市场化和私有化的经济改革的同时,开始了从拒绝人权到逐渐承认人权的转变。 中国政府于 1997 年、1998 年分别签署了两个重要的国际人权公约,全国人大于 2004
共和:共和就是"大家共治,和平共生",就是分权制衡与利益平衡,就是多种利益成分、不同社 会集团、多元文化与信仰追求的群体,在平等参与、公平竞争、共同议政的基础上,以和平的方式 处理公共事务。
民主:最基本的涵义是主权在民和民选政府。民主具有如下基本特点:(1)政权的合法性来自人 民,政治权力来源于人民;(2)政治统治经过人民选择,(3)公民享有真正的选举权,各级政府的主要政务官员必须通过定期的竞选产生。(4)尊重多数人的决定,同时保护少数人的基本人权。 一句话,民主使政府成为"民有、民治、民享"的现代公器。
在中国,帝国皇权的时代早已一去不复返了;在世界范围内,威权体制也日近黄昏;公民应该成为 真正的国家主人。祛除依赖"明君"、"清官"的臣民意识,张扬权利为本、参与为责的公民意 识,实践自由,躬行民主,尊奉法治,才是中国的根本出路。
1、修改宪法:根据前述价值理念修改宪法,删除现行宪法中不符合主权在民原则的条文, 使宪法真正成为人权的保证书和公共权力的许可状,成为任何个人、团体和党派不得违反的可以实施的最高 法律,为中国民主化奠定法权基础。
2、分权制衡:构建分权制衡的现代政府,保证立法、司法、行政三权分立。确立法定行政和责任政 府的原则,防止行政权力过分扩张;政府应对纳税人负责;在中央和地方之间建立分权与制衡制 度,中央权力须由宪法明确界定授权,地方实行充分自治。
9、结社自由:保障公民的结社自由权,将现行的社团登记审批制改为备案制。开放党禁, 以宪法和法律规范政党行为,取消一党垄断执政特权,确立政党活动自由和公平竞争的原则,实现政党政治 正常化和法制化。
12、宗教自由:保障宗教自由与信仰自由,实行政教分离,宗教信仰活动不受政府干预。审查并撤 销限制或剥夺公民宗教自由的行政法规、行政规章和地方性法规;禁止以行政立法管理宗教活动。 废除宗教团体(包括宗教活动场所)必经登记始获合法地位的事先许可制度,代之以无须任何审查 的备案制。
和运行机制,建立各级政府合理有效的财政分权体系;对赋税制度进行重大改革,以降低税率、简化税制、 公平税负。非经社会公共选择过程,民意机关决议,行政部门不得随意加税、开征新税。通过产权 改革,引进多元市场主体和竞争机制,降低金融准入门槛,为发展民间金融创造条件,使金融体系 充分发挥活力。
18、联邦共和:以平等、公正的态度参与维持地区和平与发展,塑造一个负责任的大国形象。维护 香港、澳门的自由制度。在自由民主的前提下,通过平等谈判与合作互动的方式寻求海峡两岸和解 方案。以大智慧探索各民族共同繁荣的可能途径和制度设计,在民主宪政的架构下建立中华联邦共 和国。
© This poem is available for free public use only on 20th March 2012, as part of the worldwide readings in support of the Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin Freedom for Liu Xiaobo appeal.
This poem is part of a selection of Chinese poetry translated by Zheng Danyi, Shirley Lee and Martin Alexander, and published by the Asia Literary Review.
You Wait for Me with Dust - for my wife, who waits every day
by Liu Xiaobo
nothing remains in your name, nothing
but to wait for me, together with the dust of our home those layers
amassed, overflowing, in every corner you're unwilling to pull apart the curtains and let the light disturb their stillness
over the bookshelf, the handwritten label is covered in dust on the carpet the pattern inhales the dust
when you are writing a letter to me
and love that the nib’s tipped with dust
my eyes are stabbed with pain
you sit there all day long not daring to move
for fear that your footsteps will trample the dust you try to control your breathing
using silence to write a story. At times like this
the suffocating dust offers the only loyalty
your vision, breath and time
permeate the dust
in the depth of your soul the tomb inch by inch is piled up from the feet reaching the chest reaching the throat
you know that the tomb is your best resting place waiting for me there
with no source of fear or alarm this is why you prefer dust
in the dark, in calm suffocation
waiting, waiting for me you wait for me with dust
refusing the sunlight and movement of air just let the dust bury you altogether
just let yourself fall asleep in the dust until I return
and you come awake
wiping the dust from your skin and your soul.
What a miracle – back from the dead.
April 9th 1999
你一无所有，只能和家里的灰尘一起等我 它们一层层 积满了所有角落你不愿拉开窗帘 让阳光惊扰它们的安宁
书架上的字迹被灰尘掩埋地毯的图案吸满了灰尘 你喜欢在给我写信时 笔尖吸住几粒灰尘让我的眼睛有些刺痛
你终日端坐不想随意走动 生怕自己的脚踩痛了灰尘 你尽量平稳地呼吸用沉默编写一个故事 在这令人窒息的岁月 灰尘们献出仅有的忠诚
灰尘浸满了你的目光、呼吸、时间 在你的灵魂深处 日复一日的修筑坟墓从脚底一寸寸堆积 直到胸口直到喉咙
是你最好的归宿在那里等我 不会有任何惊扰 你就是对灰尘情有独衷
和灰尘一起等我拒绝阳光和空气的流动 让灰尘彻底埋葬自己 让自己在灰尘中睡去直到我回来
© Fotos: Hufftington-Post; wikipedia.org
10.05.2013 - Aufruf zur Solidarität mit Li Bifeng - In Erinnerung an verfemte Dichter
Zum 80. Jahrestag der Bücherverbrennungen am 10. Mai 1933 gedenken der Börsenverein, die Akademie der Künste zu Berlin, das PEN-Zentrum Deutschland und der Verband Deutscher Schriftsteller in ver.di sowohl der Schriftsteller, deren Bücher damals verbrannt wurden, als auch derjenigen, die heute unter Zensur stehen, Behinderung der freien Meinungsäußerung erfahren oder deren Leben bedroht werden. Konkret rufen sie zur Solidarität mit dem chinesischen Schriftsteller Li Bifeng auf.
In ihrer gemeinsamen Resolution heißt es: Li Bifengs Beteiligung an den Tiananmen-Protesten vom 4. Juni 1989 brachte ihn für fünf Jahre ins Gefängnis. Nach einer weiteren Inhaftierung von 1998 bis 2005 wurde er 2011 erneut verhaftet und ein Jahr später zu zwölf Jahren Haftstrafe verurteilt. Schwere und brutale Folterungen haben bei ihm unheilbare Verletzungen und Verkrüppelungen hinterlassen. Li Bifeng ist ein Schriftsteller, der nur im Untergrund tätig sein kann. Seine Gedichte, Romane, Theaterstücke, Tagebücher und Aufrufe wurden beschlagnahmt und vernichtet, aber immer wieder hat er sie aus dem Gedächtnis heraus neu geschrieben. Wenn Li Bifeng im Jahr 2023 aus dem Gefängnis entlassen wird, hat er fast die Hälfte seines Lebens in Gefangenschaft verbracht, ohne dass diese langen Haftzeiten nach dem demokratisch freiheitlichen Menschenrechtsverständnis gerechtfertigt gewesen wären.
Wer mit Staaten, die Menschenrechtsverletzungen begehen, wirtschaftliche Beziehungen pflegen will, ist in besonderem Maße verpflichtet, auf freier Meinungsäußerung und Menschenwürde zu bestehen. Denn nur wer die Rechte des Einzelnen wahrt, kann das Gemeinwohl gestalten. Diese Grundhaltung ist aus den Erfahrungen der Gräueltaten des nationalsozialistischen Regimes in das Grundgesetz unseres Landes eingeflossen.Wir fordern die Bundesregierung deshalb auf, sich bei der chinesischen Regierung mit allem Nachdruck dafür einzusetzen, dass die rechtliche Willkür gegen Li Bifeng beendet wird, er unverzüglich aus der Haft entlassen wird und seine Rechte als freier Schriftsteller ausüben kann.