Liu Xiaobo's Words of Peace, Social Change, and Optimism
Words of Chinese Dissident Read at Nobel Ceremony
highlights of the address made to a court by Chinese dissident Liu
Xiaobo during his trial for subversion in December 2009. The transcript
was due to be read on Friday by Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann at a
ceremony in Oslo marking the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu.
"I have no enemies and no
hatred. None of the police who monitored, arrested, and interrogated me,
none of the prosecutors who indicted me, and none of the judges who
judged me are my enemies. Although there is no way I can accept your
monitoring, arrests, indictments, and verdicts, I respect your
professions and your integrity, including those of the two prosecutors,
Zhang Rongge and Pan Xueqing, who are now bringing charges against me on
behalf of the prosecution. During interrogation on December 3, I could
sense your respect and your good faith.
can rot away at a person's intelligence and conscience. Enemy mentality
will poison the spirit of a nation, incite cruel mortal struggles,
destroy a society's tolerance and humanity, and hinder a nation's
progress towards freedom and democracy. That is why I hope to be able to
transcend my personal experiences as I look upon our nation's
development and social change, to counter the regime's hostility with
utmost goodwill, and to dispel hatred with love."
is precisely because of such convictions and personal experience that I
firmly believe that China's political progress will not stop, and I,
filled with optimism, look forward to the advent of a future free China.
For there is no force that can put an end to the human quest for
freedom, and China will in the end become a nation ruled by law, where
human rights reign supreme. I also hope that this sort of progress can
be reflected in this trial as I await the impartial ruling of the
collegial bench - a ruling that will withstand the test of history."
I may be permitted to say so, the most fortunate experience of these
past twenty years has been the selfless love I have received from my
wife, Liu Xia. She could not be present as an observer in court today,
but I still want to say to you, my dear, that I firmly believe your love
for me will remain the same as it has always been. Throughout all these
years that I have lived without freedom, our love was full of
bitterness imposed by outside circumstances, but as I savour its
aftertaste, it remains boundless. I am serving my sentence in a tangible
prison, while you wait in the intangible prison of the heart. Your love
is the sunlight that leaps over high walls and penetrates the iron bars
of my prison window, stroking every inch of my skin, warming every cell
of my body, allowing me to always keep peace, openness, and brightness
in my heart, and filling every minute of my time in prison with
"There is nothing criminal in anything I have done. if charges are brought against me because of this, I have no complaints."
(Editing by Ralph Boulton)