Guo Feixiong, November 27, 2015
Translated by Louisa Chiang and Perry Link; posted on December 3, 2015
On November 27, a year after the trial of Guo Feixiong and Sun Desheng, the Tianhe court in Guangzhou sentenced Guo Feixiong to six years in prison by adding a last-minute charge in order to procure a lengthier sentence. In doing so, the Chinese court announced to the world that the law means nothing when it comes to persecuting political dissenters. – The Editors
This verdict violates both justice and the law. It is nothing but vile persecution of Sun Desheng and me by powers that are opposing democracy in China. We are completely innocent.
The lifeblood of the law flows beneath its surface, where, properly, it should nourish human autonomy and dignity; on the contrary, this verdict of yours undermines due process and makes a mockery of justice and humanity. The unjust political sentence that you have levied upon the two of us–doing nothing but exercising the rights of citizens–usurps the proper functions law, which are to uphold justice and to guarantee human rights, and converts those proper functions into tools for trapping citizens, steamrolling human rights, and trampling constitutional democracy, which is a core interest of the Chinese nation. Your intentions are clear and your performance spectacular; it is hard to imagine anything more foul.
You have violated, in a gross fashion, principles that will leave you vulnerable someday to judgments of justice in the courts of a democratic China. Just judgment of that kind might help you to rescue your original humanity from the brutality, greed, fear and hate in which, today, it is so deeply mired. Without justice and redemption, there can be no mercy or forgiveness.
As someone who has clung to ideals inveterately and who has endured, in return, a protracted political vendetta involving torture and persecution of many kinds, I wish to offer, to all the tyrants and oppressors operating on Chinese soil and to all of the dark opponents of democracy as well, a prediction that will indict your souls—those souls so inured to authoritarian thinking and that remain, today, still unable to conceive of what repentance is. Even in the wake of unspeakable tragedies under totalitarianism, you cling to power for your private use by any and all means. The prediction is this: future generations of humankind will condemn your unconscionable stubbornness, your lust for power, your bestial political behavior and your shameless self-glorification.
A saying has arisen in recent times that “history is the religion of the Chinese people.” It is also our court for violations of natural law. To judges Zheng Xin (郑昕), Luo Cheng (罗成), and Lu Xiao (鲁肖), to procurators Wang Yu (王宇) and Liu Lijun (刘力骏), and to all the officials responsible for “stability maintenance” who work behind these people who appear in court, I say this: You will never be alone. Providence is watching you. In the unsparing court of history, you will never be able to escape trial for your crimes.
Let me put it to you straight: Your shameful political persecution cannot possibly stem the surging demand for democracy in China. On the contrary, it only makes your anti-democratic nature all the clearer to the world and only causes more of our citizens, whether from anger or political awakening, to dare to rise up, like new mountain chains, to join the ranks on our anti-authoritarian side. Our movement for freedom and democracy will only grow stronger in the crucible of your repression. Someday a Chinese generation will erect the edifice of constitutional democracy, incorporating checks and balances, on our ravaged land that has endured so much disaster. The eventual future, for every nation on earth, will be government in which citizens are sovereign.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to the courageous lawyers—Chen Guangwu (陈光武), Zhang Xuezhong (张雪忠), Zhang Lei (张磊), and Li Jinxing (李金星)—who have labored for two years through all kinds of risks and harassment in order to defend me. No words are sufficient to express my gratitude to them. I would like as well to express thanks to my selfless and indefatigable supporters and protectors: lawyers Sui Muqing (隋牧青) and Lin Qilei (蔺其磊); friends Xiao Shu (笑蜀), Guo Chunping(郭春平), and Zhao Hongwei (赵红伟); also the respected reverend Bob Fu (傅希秋) of China Aid, Zhang Min (张敏) of Voice of America, Hu Ping (胡平) of Beijing Spring, and my older sister Yang Maoping (杨茂平) and older brother Yang Maoquan (杨茂全), who have grown stronger through the suffering that my predicament has brought to them. I also want to express my heartfelt appreciation to my comrades in rights advocacy–too many to name–who have worked for my rescue in a variety of Internet campaigns. Last but not least, I want to thank the friends in other countries who have protested on my behalf. Immersed in the immense warmth of your humanity and love, I often forget that I live behind cold iron bars and thick high walls.
From the bottom of my heart I want to thank my wife, Zhang Qing (张青). In July 2012, over a meal with long-time Chinese democrats in Beijing, someone asked me how my family was. I replied that, “I feel something almost sacred toward my wife—she does everything she can to call for my rescue whenever I’m in danger and never budges an inch in the face of any kind of threat.” The reason why I am now expressing my thanks publicly to you, dear Qing, is that I want the world to know about the qualities of resistance, resolve, and loyalty that you have shown during the troubles that we have endured together over the past ten years. I will be eternally grateful, especially, for what you did for me between September 2006 and December 2008 while I was enduring torture in prison. Goethe writes that “eternal womanhood leads humanity higher,” and I know, dear Qing, how hard it has been for you, in the New World [of California], to raise our two children alone. While I have been in and out of jail for the cause of democracy in our homeland, you bourn alone the nurturance of our children, which is and must be our highest priority.
It is time for me to go, my friends. I now face a new beginning. Boundless adventure and opportunity, glowing with the brightness of our values and dreams, await us ahead.
Yang Maodong (aka Guo Feixiong)