China: Campaign for imprisoned writer and poet
An international campaign has been launched by PEN International in partnership with the Dublin-based human rights group Front Line Defenders to call for the release of poet and writer Liu Xiaobo — and that of all those currently detained in the P.R. China in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory, and Article 35 of China’s own constitution.
PEN International and Front Line Defenders have gathered video recordings of writers around the world reading excerpts of Liu Xiaobo’s poetry, which form the basis for a series of actions and events on and around 10 December, the International Human Rights Day.
This animation video ‘No Enemies’ is based on an extract from the statement, ‘I Have No Enemies’ which was written by Liu Xiaobo and intended to be read at his trial on 23 December 2009.
It was published on 6 December 2012. Voice overs: by Salman Rushdie, Seamus Heaney, Ariel Dorfman, Mark Kilroy and Adam Shapiro. Directed and drawn by Trish McAdam. Motion Graphics by Marc Sherwin. Music and Sound Mix by David Blanc.
11-year prison sentence
Chinese poet and human rights defender Liu Xiaobo, 56, is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence for his dissident writings and peaceful activism, the fourth year of which was marked on 8 December 2012. He helped write Charter ’08, a political manifesto, which promoted peaceful democratic reform and called for greater respect for fundamental human rights in China and an end to one party rule.
In October 2010, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – and as such became the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. At the announcement that Liu Xiaobo was that year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, his wife Liu Xia was placed under house arrest.
Appeals and petition
PEN Centres are urged to stage public events and write appeals during the month of December to express solidarity with Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia, and all writers currently detained in the P.R.China. Read more
You can sign Front Line Defender’s petition here. On 10 December 2012, 300,000 people had signed it.