On August 8, close associates of Xu Zhiyong (许志永) released a video taken of the jailed rights campaigner during a recent visit to the jail in which he is being held by Chinese authorities. In the video, just over a minute long, Xu talks about the need for more citizens to stand up and defend their rights in “this age of absurdity.” [Here is an updated post of the video from the Wall Street Journal, with subtitles].
The video is taken by the visitor through the bars of a cell or visiting room where Xu is secured with handcuffs.
No matter how this society [of ours] is, how defeated or how absurd, this society needs brave citizens who can stand up and hold fast to their beliefs, who can take their rights, responsibilities and their dreams seriously. I’m proud to put the word ‘citizen’ before my name, and I hope everyone does the same, putting the word ‘citizen’ before their name. Let us unite, and work together to make our rights as citizens matter, to make our identities as citizens matter — working together to promote democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice in our country. Surely we can build a free, public-spirited, loving and good China.