Free Li Bifeng!
- Where: Montmartre Gallery
- When: June 4, 2013, 17:00 – 19:00
On the day of the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square events, the Václav Havel Library is taking part in a worldwide event in which the poetry of the imprisoned writer Li Bifeng is being read.
The evening will be hosted by Prof. Olga Lomová, while Daniel Konrád and Jáchym Topol will read from Li Bifeng’s poems and diary entries.
The Chinese poet, novelist and democracy activist Li Bifeng has spent a total of 12 years in jail. He was first sentenced for taking part in 1989’s Tiananmen Square protests. In 1998, soon after publishing a report on the protests of textile workers in his hometown of Mianyang, he was arrested for the second time and sentenced for so-called financial fraud, a charge the Chinese authorities began using against other human rights activists, such as Ai Weiwei. In November 2012, Li, then 48, was imprisoned for the third time, again without good reason or proof and on the mere suspicion that he had helped his friend, the writer Liao Yiwu, flee China for Germany. Li, who in short periods of creativity when he was free wrote many poems, dramas and a novel, is not due for release until 2024. The event Worldwide Reading for Li Bifeng, which alongside Prague will include cities such as Paris and New York, is being organised by the Berlin International Literary Festival; organisations including Amnesty International and the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne are also taking part.