Political dissident and activist, Liu Xiabo
This video features a rare one-on-one interview with Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo recorded April 2008. It is the last known recorded video of Liu Xiaobo before his home arrest which occurred a few months afterward. The interview was taped by Journeyman Pictures — an independent group of journalists exploring contemporary issues of global significance. In the video, Liu Xiaobo speaks of “positive change” in China, his Open Letter on Tibet, human rights and economic prosperity, and the growing social dissident movement against the Chinese political system.
In the following quotation, Liu Xiabo reveals the conditions and challenges a political dissident and activist faces in China and its Communist Government.
“Living in an authoritarian society, doing the pro-democracy work that I do, the possibility of being sent to prison at any time doesn’t actually scare me too much. If it did, I wouldn’t have kept on doing this kind of work for 19 years. What I’m afraid of is the way this can affect your family, the major problems it can cause them psychologically and in many other ways. The way I see it, people like me live in two prisons in China. You come out of the small, fenced-in prison, only to enter the bigger, fence-less prison of society. My phone, my computer, my whereabouts and so on are all monitored by the Chinese Public Security Bureau. For myself, I firmly believe in the value of what I’m doing and I’m prepared to face the risks. But there are many times when it doesn’t just affect you, there’s also your wife, your parents and other family members. I’m the one who has brought fear into their hearts, so deep down I feel guilt, and sometimes that can turn into fear.”
For more information about the political manifesto “We have no enemies“, Tiananmen square protests and Xiaobo’s negotiations for a peaceful withdrawal of the student demonstrators, and Charter 08, review here my previous summary of Liu Xiabo in the Series on Nobel Peace Laureates.