Liao Yiwu detained en route to literary festival in Germany

Yesterday morning, Chinese authorities dragged Liao off a plane in Chengdu, where he lives, as he was preparing to fly off to Cologne to attend a literary festival. He was detained and questioned for three hours, then sent home, where he remains under house arrest.

This is an all too familiar condition for Liao, who has been in and out of jail for his fearless insistence on speaking freely for himself and for many of his countrymen since the late 1980s, when he was locked away for four years for reciting his poem “Massacre.” In prison, Liao’s defiance of authority earned him endless beatings, and with them the baffled respect of his fellow inmates, who lovingly nicknamed him the Big Idiot for his stubborn unwillingness to shut up.

attached to: Liao Yiwu


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