Liu Xiaobo Memorial Unveiled

On August 13, 2019 one hundred people attended the unveiling ceremony of the Liu Xiaobo Empty Chair Memorial outside Amnesty International Canada’s headquarters in Ottawa. Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty Canada, Richard Stursberg, President of PEN Canada, and Winnie Ng, Chair of Toronto Association of Democracy in China spoke at the ceremony.

“In life and in death Liu Xiaobo embodied the very essence of his struggle to human rights,” said Neve. “A struggle he weighed in and for China, a struggle that has resonated and echoed all around the world, a struggle which must and will continue. The chair that Liu Xiaobo was kept from when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on December 10th 2010 … we all knew around the world that we would not leave it empty … because, in being kept away, Liu Xiaobo made it clear to the world that right alongside him we all sat in the chair  … This chair will not and cannot be empty this afternoon.”

Setsuko Thurlow, recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons also spoke at the ceremony, as did Wang Juntao, political activist and friend of Liu during the 1989 pro-democracy movement, Ti‑Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Binzhang, political prisoner and founder of Chinese pro-democracy movement overseas, and Senator Con Di Nino.

The Chair will remain at Amnesty International for public display after the unveiling. The organizers welcome visitors to climb into the chair and reflect on human rights conditions in China, from the 1989 Tiananmen Student Movement to the mass imprisonment of Uighurs in recent months, and the violent suppression of citizen demonstrations in Hong Kong. Winnie Ng, TADC Chair, quoted a line by Milan Kundera: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

Photographs of the ceremony are available here.

Media contact: Cheuk Kwan, (416) 804 1527





渥太華2019 年8 月13 日


大約有100人在晴朗的藍天下出席劉曉波空座椅紀念碑揭幕禮,紀念碑位於加拿大國際特赦渥太華總部前園。加拿大國際特赦組織秘書長Alex Neve、加拿大筆會會長Richard Stursberg和多倫多支持中國民運會會長吳溫温在揭幕禮上表示,這三個組織於2018年5月宣布建立紀念碑,於今天8月13日成為現實。

國際特赦組織秘書長Alex Neve說:「劉曉波毌懼生存與死亡的威嚇,用自己的生命去體現爭取人權的本質。他為中國而奮鬥,引起全世界共鳴和回響,我們必須兼承下去。2010年12月10日諾貝爾和平獎頒獎禮,劉曉波無法出席接受獎項,當時在奧斯陸给他留下的椅子任何人都沒有坐上,但世界各地的所有人都知道我們不會把它留空。儘管劉曉波未能赴會,卻向全世界明確表示,他與我們會同坐在椅子上。… 今天下午,我們再不會讓這張椅子空著。」

在揭幕禮上發言還包括:代表國際廢除核武器運動接受2017年諾貝爾和平獎的Setsuko Thurlow、1989 年民主運動中與劉曉波為友並積極參與政治活動的王軍濤、政治犯和海外中國民運運動的創始人王炳璋的女兒王天安、和加拿大參議員Con Di Nino。