Posts Tagged ‘human rights day’

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A Chinese protester is detained by police outside the Concert Hall in Stockholm. Chinese artists protested that Nobel peace prize winner from 2010, Liu Xiaobo, is still in prison in China. Picture: AP Source: AP

Apso is in a serious mood today. Yesterday was 64th anniversary of International Human Rights Day and the annual award of the Nobel Peace Prize in Stockholm. Four nude Chinese dissidents tried to cross police cordons minutes before the Nobel ceremony in Stockholm, in a bid to draw attention to the continued imprisonment of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo and his family. The nude men were writers Liao Yiwu, Wang Yiliang, Bei Ling and artist Meng Huang. This is their statement, also signed by Wang Juntao, scholar and Chairman of Democratic Party of China:

“We’re running nude here, because this place was where Chinese Communist Party writer Mo Yan, a stern guardian of censorship, was awarded the Nobel Literature Prize.

We’re reminding this forgetful world: there’s a fierce critic of censorship, an eye witness of the Tiananmen Massacre of June 4th, 1989. His name is Liu Xiaobo, also a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, he was sentenced to 11 years in jail. He’s still in prison.

We’re reminding this forgetful world: there’s also a poet and outstanding artist named Liu Xia, who’s uninterested in politics. She’s been under house arrest, just because she’s Liu Xiaobo’s wife.

We’re reminding this forgetful world: there’s also an ordinary Beijing resident named Liu Hui, he’s uninterested in politics. He’s serving an 11-year jail sentence, same length as that of Liu Xiaobo, just because he’s Liu’s brother-in-law. He passed on a little information of his family to the outside world and was arrested by domestic security bureau for “economic crimes”.

We’re reminding this forgetful world: persecution is continuing. Liu Xia is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. According to the current Chinese laws, she should not be a criminal, despite that she’s married to a jailed man. She needs to breathe air of freedom to heal the wounds in her heart.

We’re running nude here, it’s because when such horrific political persecution based on family ties happens, the propaganda machine of the Communist Party is running with much fanfare, using the Nobel prize ceremonies hosted by the Swedish Academy. Universal human values are facing an unprecedented challenge. Since the winter of 2012, countless people became prisoners of conscious, 122 Tibetan have self immolated. Isolated in her home as if in another world, Liu Xia cries: “They are Nobel prize winners, why are they being treated differently?”
(Statement translated by Rose Tang)

English-language news report about the nude protest:http://www.news.com.au/world/watchdog-organisation-for-the-prohibition-of-chemical-weapons-recieves-noble-peace-prize/story-fndir2ev-1226780232005

To celebrate the award of the Prize to HH Dalai Lama in 1989 and the struggle for Tibetan freedom, what did Tibetans in exile get? A conservative, dry, factual speech by the Tibetan leader in exile in front of the elite and a traditional Tibetan song and dance. In the words of renowned Tibetan scholar Tsering Shakya:

”Has Arundhati Roy been invited on stage to introduce Sikyong or share a platform with the Dalai Lama? Has Chomsky ever met a Tibetan leader? Tarig Ramdan, one of the leading progressive Islamic scholars at Oxford was a member of SFT and spent time in Dharamsala when he was student. He has declared publicly his support for Tibet in his writings. He is now black listed by the Americans. Why haven’t the Tibetans reached out to him and honoured him as a guest speaker at Tibetan functions? The Tibetan elite will never fraternize with intelligent and progressive people like Arundhati , Chomsky and Ramdan, because of fear of American reaction.

At a recent address to the Tibetan Community in NY, who was invited to introduce Sikyong, who was given prominent place on the stage? A second rate Hollywood actor! Is this an image of political sophistication? The question is not can the Tibetan issue have universal appeal, but why have we failed to articulate it in a language that speaks of freedom struggle. For many the call for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet is no different from Iranian royalists wishing for the return of the rule Pahlavi dynasty!”

A few days ago, the great freedom fighter and rebel Nelson Mandela passed away. Brutal imperialists and dictators from the US, China and so on were quick to claim Mandela as their own hero despite the fact Mandela went to jail for his political acts and was renowned for his dislike of neo-liberal capitalism, the US and mainstream politics. As many others also stated, we should remember Mandela for the person who was hated by the establishment and stop the ‘rightwashing’ of his legacy. He was not a man who chose diplomacy or appeasement as the route to freedom.

The redeeming event in Tibetan exile yesterday was a rock concert organised by the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy and Voice of Tibet, at which famous Indian rock band Parikrama performed. As Neil Young sang ‘Keep on Rocking in the Free World’! Rocking for freedom of speech in exile and in Tibet!

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