Liu Xiaobo


Liu Xiaobo Elegies (劉曉波)
A reading jointly organised by Cha and PEN Hong Kong
Date & time: Friday 29 June 2018; 7:30 p.m. onwards
Venue: Bleak House Books
Moderator: Tammy Lai-Ming Ho


Part One
Wilson Leung [Bio and Text]
Akin Jeje [Bio and Text]
Dr Mary Shuk-han Wong [Bio and Text]
Nashua Gallagher [Bio and Text]
Dung Kai-cheung [Bio and Text]
Patrick Poon [Bio and Text]
S h o r t   B r e a k 

Part Two

Susan Lavender [Bio and Text]
Dr Michael O’Sullivan [Bio and Text]
Dr Ng Mei Kwan [Bio and Text]
Dr Lucas Klein [Bio and Text]
Evelyn Char [Bio and Text]
Professor Lian-Hee Wee [Bio and Text]
William Nee [Bio and Text]
Tammy Lai-Ming Ho‘s brief opening remarks:

Ten years ago, in 2008, which was also the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a group of about 300 Chinese academics, activists, intellectuals, lawyers and workers, among others, put forward a manifesto entitled Charter 08, which called for democratic reforms and respect for freedom, equality and human rights.
Liu Xiaobo, already a prominent dissident and writer, was one of the main drafters of Charter 08, and he was arrested the following year in December 2009 for ‘incitement to subversion’. He was sentenced to eleven years in prison, a jail term which would have ended in 2020.
In 2010, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was not allowed to attend the ceremony, and in fact he was not even able to send a family member. It was only the second time in the history of the prize that a recipient was unable to attend because of imprisonment.
At the ceremony in Oslo, Liu Xiaobo’s absence was marked, visibly and iconically, by an empty chair. Within hours of the ceremony, the Beijing authorities banned all mention of the phrase ‘empty chair’ from the Chinese web.
Liu Xiaobo’s English translator Perry Link wrote, ‘We know very little of [Liu Xiaobo’s] prison conditions.’ But that he ate ‘low-quality prison food’ and although he had ‘hepatitis and stomach problems’, he received only ‘cursory medical attention.’
On 13 July last year, Liu Xiaobo died of lung cancer, at aged 61. He was mourned by democratic fighters, lovers of human rights, everywhere.
Tonight, ahead of the first anniversary of Liu Xiaobo’s death, we are pleased to have gathered thirteen writers from Hong Kong, who are of diverse backgrounds, to read their selected texts, in their preferred respective language, which they feel might connect us to Liu Xiaobo’s ideas, beliefs and life.
Our thirteen writers are divided into two groups, and you can find their texts by visiting the website Before their reading, they will each introduce themselves briefly and say a few words on their selections. If you would like to make a response or comment to our readers, you are very welcome to do so after each reading.


Readers_Liu Xiaobo Elegies