Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

China: The 42th anniversary of Lin Zhao's death

Lin Zhao (林昭), a Peking University student, was arrested in 1960 during the Anti-Rightist Campaign launched by Mao Zedong in 1957 and sentenced to death on 29 of April (today) in 1968, 42 years ago at the age of 35. She could have exchanged for her freedom and life by a writing a political confession, instead, she chose to write in the prison with her blood.

Lin was once a devoted supporter of the Chinese Communist Party and participated in the Land Reform. When she was studying in the Peking University, she sided with CCP leader Peng Dehuai's camp criticizing Mao Zedong's extremism in the Great Leap Forward and People's Commune Movement and was then labelled as an anti-revoluntionary rightist.

In 1981, the Shanghai Higher Court vindicated Lin Zhao's case but her file is still defined as state secret. Below is a portrait of Lin:

lin1

In 2003, independent film maker Hu Jie(胡杰)released documentary titled as “In Search of the Soul of Lin Zhao” (detailed report see Washington post). The documentary can be found in youtube.

Lin is now the icon of political dissidents and human rights activists in China. Ran Yunfei explains in bullogger:

林昭与人类有史以来,最为强暴的政权的对抗,不仅是中国人的精神资源,甚至可以说是人类 共同的精神遗产。但对她抗暴的相关努力,由于至今尚未解档,官方的遮蔽掩盖,致使她的行止丰仪语焉不详,不为外界大多数人所知。与此同时,一些与她有过联 络的人,或者同学们也由于这样或那样的顾虑,不愿接受采访,承担一点相应的作为朋友或者同学的责任,这岂止令人遗憾!虽然我尊重每个人的选择,但正是这样 的懦弱,造就了残暴的专制政权。再者,提篮桥监狱监管并虐待林昭的人,也不能完全用体制之罪来为自己的恶行推脱。只要档案不被毁,正义一定等得到审判邪恶 的那一天,虽然迟来的正义其价值已经减弱,但不忘记邪恶可以在一定程度上伸张正义。

Lin Zhao struggled with the most violent state power in human history, she is the spiritual resource for all Chinese people and the legacy for the whole world. Her effort in fighting against violence has not been unveiled yet. The government continues to cover up and most of the people do not know much about her. At the same time, for those who know about her, her friends and classmates, out of anxiety and fear, they refused to talk about her. This is so regretful. Although I respect individual's choice, such kind of cowardliness has brought about the cruel authoritarianism. The prison guards who tortured Lin Zhao in Tinan Bridge prison could not use the excuse of the system for their crime. So long when the record is preserved, the evil will be judged. It is a belated justice, but the retrieval of people's memory will bring light to the dark history.

Zhongshan University Professor and independent film maker Ai Xiaoming started an online event: “100 things you can do to remember Lin Zhao” and suggested various ways to remember Lin, such as

1. to learn about Lin's life history
2. to watch and share the documentary “In Search of the Soul of Lin Zhao”
3. to write about Lin Zhao, to visit Lin's tomb
4. to read Lin's writings, and etc.

You can join the event via facebook.

On 28 of April, a number of concerned citizens visited Lin's tomb in Jiangsu, Suzhou City, Mudu town and citizen journalist Tiger Temple recorded the activities:

In Beijing, artist Yen Zhenxue(嚴正學)who was sentenced to three year imprisonment on 18 of October 2006 under sedition charge and released on 17 of July 2009, completed Lin Zhao's sculpture in early April and planned an exhibition in 798 Art District on 10 of April. But he was assaulted by security guards and hospitalized on 3 of April. Below is Yen's finishing artwork:

lin2

Chinese netizens keep sharing Lin's writing via blogs, forums and twitter in the past few days. Below is one of the poems devoted to her prosecutor by Lin under the series “Roses devoted to the Prosecutor”:

将这一滴注入祖国的血液里,
将这一滴向挚爱的自由献祭。
揩吧!擦吧!洗吧!
这是血呢!
殉难者的血迹,
谁能抹得去?

Inject this drop of blood into my mother country's blood stream
This drop sacrificed my beloved freedom
Wipe it! Rub it! Clean it!
This is blood!
The blood of a Martyr
Who can wipe it away?

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site