China: I am Liu Xianbin

First of all, who is Liu Xianbin (劉賢斌)? Liu is 42 years old and has spent almost one third of his life time in jail. Now he is under arrest again. Below is Liu's profile picture:

So what has he done? In 1989, when he was 20 years old, as a junior university student, he participated in the Beijing Tiananmen democratic movement, demanding political reform to stop corruption. However, the military crack down had not stopped Liu from his political activism and he was arrested on April 15 1991, sentenced to 2.6 years under the charge of “spreading anti-revolution seditious propaganda”. He was released in October 1993, continued to organize democratic political party, and was again sentenced to 13 year imprisonment under the charge of “state sedition”. He was eventually released in November 2008.

Liu's freedom only lasted for 20 months. On June 28 2010, he was arrested by the Sichuan police because of his political writings. On August 12, he case was handed over to the court under the charge of “inciting state sedition”.

In order to show support for Liu, local and overseas activists started a campaign under the slogan “I am Liu Xianbin” in early July. So far 16 concern groups have been set up, such as Hong Kong group, Shandong group, Anhui group, Inner Mongolia group, Guangxi group, Shaanxi group, and etc.

Liu Feiyao, a social activist from Hubei, explained why he decided to speak out for Liu Xianbin,

民间反响如此之大,除了因刘贤斌对民主、人权长期的不懈地追求外,除了他为了自己的理想受尽磨难以外,还有一个原因就是当局这次做得太过了。大家实在难以 理解和接受,刘贤斌这次出狱只有一年多的时间,除了声援被抓的朋友等不多的行动外,他又能有多少“颠覆国家政权”的行为呢?更何况声援一下被抓的朋友也是 “颠覆“吗?

Apart from our respect for Liu Xianbin's devotion for democracy, human rights and dream, the government is simply too outraging this time. Liu Xianbin had just been released for a year and what he had done was showing support for his activist friends who were arrested by police. What else could he have done? How can showing support for friends be “state sedition”?

Information concerning Liu Xianbin's case and the campaign has been censored both in mainstream and online media in China and activists from the concern groups have been under strict monitored. In order to carry on the campaign, beginning from early August, activists started a hunger strike relay and below are a selection of hunger strike activists’ comments on Liu Xianbin's life path.

One of the friends that Liu had defended was Chen Yunfei from Sichuan. Now it is Chen's turn to support Liu through hunger strike:

贤斌救同胞出狼窝,他又深陷虎口。放眼望去,哪里有清静之地?大陆国人谁能会幸免不被伤害?这都是掌权者丧失“政治伦理”所致,是“阶级斗争”思维所赐。 为让我的孩子,我们的孩子不再因言获罪,不再是为争生存权而抗争,我们现在就必须“公开、理性、非暴力”地抗争到天明。

Xianbin helped his fellows to escape but he fell into the mouth of the Tiger. Where can we find a peaceful land? Who can be escaped from being hurt in Mainland China? All these sufferings are the result of the loss of “political ethics” of the ruling elites under the ideology of “class struggle”. In order to save our children from being prosecuted from their speech and expression, we have to struggle “rationally, openly under the principle of non-violence” until tomorrow comes.

Xu Jianxiong from Shaanxi:

刘贤斌是我们的好兄弟,是中国的好公民。今天他身陷囹圄是因为他无法放弃对正义和良知的坚持。如果我们自己的同胞可以被无端陷害、可以被因言治罪,那么, 这个国家的公正还存在吗?这个民族的希望还存在吗?我们深知,没有每一个中国公民的觉醒和行动,中国的自由和民主是永远不会到来的。绝食,只是表达我们的 一种态度--我们永远将和正义与良知站在一起!愿刘贤斌早日获得自由,愿国家早日实现民主。

Liu Xianbin is our good fellow, is a good Chinese citizen. He is arrested because he cannot give up justice and conscience. If our fellow can be prosecuted because of expression, will justice prevail in this country? Do we still have hope? We all know that freedom and democracy will never come if citizen do not act. This hunger strike is to show that we always stand by justice and conscience. I wish that Liu Xianbin will be free and democracy will come soon.

Wei Qiang from Shaanxi


I – am Liu Xianbin, but my name is Wei Qiang. This is a voice, is a bridge leading to humanity, a power for social development, a chase after freedom and a cultivation of spiritual character.
I – am Liu Xianbin, I have to breathe, I have to run! I have to break the cage that ruins life.
I – am Liu Xianbin, I want light, I want freedom.

1 comment

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    […] in the Chinese twitterverse. The CRD-net site appears to have shut down. The detention of Liu Xianbin is causing a lot of interest. Also very interestingly, the case of Hooligan Swallow/Sparrow is a […]

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