Keep Speech Free: The trial of Liu Xiaobo

Many of you would be aware that renowned literary critic, writer and agent for social change, Liu Xiaobo, was recently charged with ‘inciting subversion of state power’ and on Christmas Day was sentenced to 11 years in prison with two years deprivation of political rights. The charge was the result of co-authoring Charter 08, a declaration calling for political reform, greater human rights, and an end to one-party rule in China. Since Liu’s arrest, the majority of the people who signed the charter have since been interrogated in a push to further crack down on freedom of speech in China. Freedom of speech is one of our most precious human rights and one that we all need to continue to fight for. To read more about Liu Xiaobo and how you can get involved visit the PEN site.

To close, here is one of Liu Xiaobo’s poems:


One Letter Is Enough

for Xia

one letter is enough
for me to transcend and face
you to speak

as the wind blows past
the night
uses its own blood
to write a secret verse
that reminds me each
word is the last word

the ice in your body
melts into a myth of fire
in the eyes of the executioner
fury turns to stone

two sets of iron rails
unexpectedly overlap
moths flap toward lamp
light, an eternal sign
that traces your shadow

Read more of Liu’s poetry here.


Filed under discussions, poetry & publishing

2 responses to “Keep Speech Free: The trial of Liu Xiaobo

  1. it’s a beautiful powerful poem, and your call is great – chiefly on this new beginning. i have not heard of her, thought i am aware of the straggle of so many in this vast land, thank you for lifting my eyelids

  2. superb poem & what a travesty that trial was.

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