Friday, December 10, 2010

The empty chair

[This image from a Holocaust memorial in Kraków.]

Liu Xiaobo's seat at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Oslo today will stand empty.

There could be some potent iconography in that.  Every unfilled chair in the country could become a reminder of this latest lunacy of the Chinese government, a taunt to the corrupt and cowardly Party leadership.  I hope so.

The Telegraph yesterday reported a speech made by Liu a few years ago, shortly before he launched  the Charter 'O8 campaign for human rights and democracy in China.  In it he said:
"Being closely monitored by the police for the past 19 years poses no challenge to my courage. When a government resorts to using its state security apparatus against a defenceless intellectual, it only means the regime has long been rotten at its core, and its violence is only an expression of its waning power."   

Quite so.

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