300-Person Protest in Support of Liu Xiaobo: German Teachers and Students Carrying a Coffin on Human Rights Day – Calling for the Release of Liu Xia

ADHRRF – On December 10, 2017, more than 300 people including Rhein-Maas Berufskolleg teachers and students from Kempen, Germany, as well as democracy movement activists in Germany, held a “coffin-carrying demonstration for Liu Xiaobo.” The students carried a coffin symbolizing Liu Xiaobo all the way to the Chinese embassy in Berlin and demanded that the CCP authorities free Liu Xia.

This demonstration was organized by Roland Kühne, a German pastor and religious studies teacher at Rhein-Maas Berufskolleg. In addition to the students, Ms. Liao Tianqi (president of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, ICPC), Mr. Fei Liangyong (the former president of the Federation for a Democratic China, FDC), German writer Ms. Herta Müller (2009 Nobel Laureate for Literature), Chinese contemporary artist Yang Weidong, and Christians from The Church of Almighty God also participated and supported the demonstration. The purpose of the demonstration was to commemorate the death of Liu Xiaobo and urge China to resume Liu Xiaobo’s wife Liu Xia’s personal freedom.

During the event, writer Ms. Herta Müller took to the stage to read Liu Xia’s poetry, and religious studies teacher Mr. Roland Kühne called upon the CCP to respect human rights. Students shouted: “Free—Liu—Xia!”

Ms. Liao Tianqi said: “Liu Xiaobo has passed away, but his spirit will still live on and we will not forget him. These young students have stood here for two hours, not out of hatred for the CCP, but in the hope that the CCP authorities will free Liu Xia.”

Xiao Heng, a Christian of The Church of Almighty God, also took to the stage and called for efforts to safeguard Liu Xia’s human rights and freedom and attention to the human rights issues in China.

In an interview, Mr. Kühne was asked why they chose December 10. He said: “Because today is the International Human Rights Day and December 10 is also the date when Liu Xiaobo was absent from the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony.” He also stated that he could not understand why the CCP government would persecute Liu Xiaobo, as he is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and had done nothing wrong and that appealing for peace and democracy is a just cause. He said that he had learned more about the real human rights situation in China from Ms. Liao Tianqi and expressed his great concern about the current human rights situation in China.

The event was the eighth demonstration for Mr. Liu Xiaobo outside the Chinese embassy in Berlin on International Human Rights Day by Mr. Kühne and his students since Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. However, until Liu Xiaobo’s death, the Chinese government had never said anything. The event lasted for almost two hours with no appearance from Chinese embassy personnel.

Rhein-Maas Berufskolleg Students from Kempen are carrying a coffin symbolizing Liu Xiaobo. (Photo: Zhang Meng)
Ms. Herta Mülle, a German writer and Nobel Laureate for Literature, reading a poem. (the right one is German pastor Kühne) (Photo: Zhang Meng)
Ms. Liao Tianqi is interpreting the speech of a Christian of The Church of Almighty God. (Photo: Zhang Meng)
Demonstration scene. (Photo: Zhang Meng)