Saturday, October 09, 2010

Love In The Ruins

We have all heard the expression “love conquers all.” In the West, such sentiments have become tiresome and trite, but in countries where the rough hand of oppression pushes against both freedom and love, it is possible to find both flowering in the underground. If a Romeo and Juliet were to arise in Iran – not an impossible prospect, since there one finds a rare beauty of the heart, always modest – the forces that militate against the most human of emotions would be scattered.





Even If I Am Crushed Into Powder, I Will Embrace You With The Ashes

And in China, an enemy of the people, Liu Xiaobao, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Part of his acceptance statement shows that even in the dungeon the truly human heart is capable of celebrating love and freedom.

“I have no enemies, and no hatred. None of the police who monitored, arrested and interrogated me, the prosecutors who prosecuted me, or the judges who sentence me, are my enemies. While I’m unable to accept your surveillance, arrest, prosecution or sentencing, I respect your professions and personalities.....

“I firmly believe that China’s political progress will never stop, and I’m full of optimistic expectations of freedom coming to China in the future, because no force can block the human desire for freedom. China will eventually become a country of the rule of law in which human rights are supreme. I’m also looking forward to such progress being reflected in the trial of this case, and look forward to the full court’s just verdict ——one that can stand the test of history.

“Ask me what has been my most fortunate experience of the past two decades, and I’d say it was gaining the selfless love of my wife, Liu Xia. She cannot be present in the courtroom today, but I still want to tell you, my sweetheart, that I'm confident that your love for me will be as always. Over the years, in my non-free life, our love has contained bitterness imposed by the external environment, but is boundless in afterthought. I am sentenced to a visible prison while you are waiting in an invisible one. Your love is sunlight that transcends prison walls and bars, stroking every inch of my skin, warming my every cell, letting me maintain my inner calm, magnanimous and bright, so that every minute in prison is full of meaning. But my love for you is full of guilt and regret, sometimes heavy enough hobble my steps. I am a hard stone in the wilderness, putting up with the pummeling of raging storms, and too cold for anyone to dare touch. But my love is hard, sharp, and can penetrate any obstacles. Even if I am crushed into powder, I will embrace you with the ashes....

“I hope to be the last victim of China’s endless literary inquisition, and that after this no one else will ever be jailed for their speech.

“Freedom of expression is the basis of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truth. To block freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, to strangle humanity and to suppress the truth.

“I do not feel guilty for following my constitutional right to freedom of expression, for fulfilling my social responsibility as a Chinese citizen. Even if accused of it, I would have no complaints.”
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