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魏京生基金会首届魏京生中国民主斗士奖对胡石根与刘贤斌的颁奖词(English)

一贯支持中国民主自由人权的朋友们:

今天是一个普通的一天。这一天,世界上各个角落里,人们劳作,然后休闲、逛街、看电视、娱乐,并且享受着亲情友情。在夜晚的酒吧或是歌舞厅里,可以听到快乐的歌声。人们会情不自禁地跟随着歌手摆动、吟唱,然后鼓掌欢呼。

但是在这个普通的一天,世界的另一些角落里,存在着一些默默无闻的受迫害的人们。他们被囚禁,他们失去自由,失去健康,甚至失去亲人、友情、理解和同情。他们面对狭小牢房的空壁,消耗着宝贵的生命。如同在寒冷的黑暗中赤脚远行,他们在冰天雪地里孤独地行走着,走得太久太久了!

这类人,是为了大多数人们的自由而自愿献身的。鲁迅曾经说,人们最害怕的是看到黑暗,最害怕的是连黑暗都感到虚无了,你任何的反抗力量都是虚无。著名犹太裔作家辛格也说,真正的英雄不是在战场上勇于冲锋陷阵的人,而是那种能在孤苦伶仃中生存下来的人。而只有那些在牢狱里被囚禁了很久的人们,才有资格告诉我们什么是黑暗和孤独,以及这种黑暗和孤独可能带来的绝望。人类的恐惧是长久以来的习惯。因为这样的恐惧,无论争取自由的声音多么正义和响亮,都不可能象歌舞厅的歌手那样,得到众人的跟随和欢呼。这使得民主自由人权的道路变得十分艰难。因此,踏上这条道路的人们,实际上是孤独的循道者。他们在被独裁者镇压的同时,还要承受被世人漠然、忽视、误解、甚至忘记的可能。循道者的悲壮,就在于他们在这种时刻始终如一的持守,以及对牺牲的沉默。

这批孤独的循道者里,有两个卓越的中国人,一个是胡石根,一个是刘贤斌。今年魏京生基金会决定把首届中国民主斗士奖颁发给胡石根先生和刘贤斌先生,以表彰他们多年的坚持不懈的为中国民主自由人权运动所做的杰出贡献。

生于1954年,胡石根是近年来中国民主人权运动的先驱者之一。他和王国齐、刘京生等人一起,成为共产党执政以来建立第一个反对党(中国自由民主党)的发起人。他坚定地认为,几亿人口的中国,需要反对党的声音,需要有人挺身而出,呼吁人权和自由。他积极参加中国进步同盟、中国自由工会筹备委员会的筹建组织活动。
由于他的先驱者、领导者身份,他成为同期被捕人中判刑最重的一个,被判刑20年。他目前已经服刑12年,在监狱里一直受到严厉管制。

胡石根为了他所坚持的信念,几乎付出了所有:妻子离开了他,一些亲人和朋友们疏远了他。12年中,很少有人前来探监。在监狱多年,他只和女儿见过一面。多年的折磨使得他患有肝病、心脏病、胃病、耳炎、严重的神经衰弱。现在,牢狱铁栏里面的胡石根,刚刚五十岁,却已鬓发全白、步履蹒跚,视力衰退到看不清台阶的地步。他
身体状况日益下降,双腿骨折,腰椎突出,如果不及时治疗,随时可能变成残废。

胡石根生长在穷困的江西地区。他年幼时期对百姓困苦的亲身体验,以及后来几十年孜孜不倦渴求知识、坚持独立思考的经历,使他融合了中国知识分子最优秀的成分:坚韧、理性、谦和、正义。和他接触过的人,对他的学问和人品都十分钦佩。

胡石根的人格力量,在狱中一如既往。他承受了多年苦难,却一直保持着悲悯之心。当受到亲近人的误解和伤害的时候,外人为之悲愤落泪,他却向伤害传达了宽容;他经历了漫长孤寒,人们担心他不能活到出狱的一天,他却对生命保持执著的热爱,坚持在狱中学习,不仅设法学习计算机技术,而且一直研究汉字编码,1999年完成了这项发明。这种人格力量,使他在黑暗、绝望中坚强地挺立着。胡石根,就像他自己说的那样,是长在石头里的金子和钻石。

另一个杰出人物是刘贤斌。生于1968年,刘贤斌1991年第一次被捕的时候,还是个风华正茂的大学生。他聪明英俊、前程似锦。因为参加六四民运,他坐牢两年六个月。出狱以后他积极参加组建中国民主党的活动,并且一直进行社会问题调查研究,撰写有关人权民主的理论文章,参加推动民主呼吁书的签名运动,终于在1999年再次
被捕,被判处13年徒刑。关押在远离政治中心的四川监狱的刘贤斌,目前几乎得不到任何关注,他长期患有肺结核,数年来从未得到医治。

和胡石根一样,刘贤斌几乎放弃了人生的一切。被捕前他离别新婚家庭和未满月的孩子,每日在外奔波。在承担生命危险的时候,他时时遭受着贫困、疾病的折磨。现在身陷牢狱,失去健康和自由。刘贤斌的突出特点是,他总是在最艰难的时候挺身而出。第一次出狱时,正值六四镇压后的低潮,有人沉默,有人出逃,刘贤斌勇敢地站
起来;后来当《人权观察》被查禁、风声鹤唳之时,他毅然在家接办杂志。在1998年底民主党数人被拘留的残酷现实到来时,刘贤斌反而更加活跃,不顾自身安危,鼓励同志们。刘贤斌从来没有想过当英雄,一切都是出自他对自由民主的坚定信念,以及他纯净朴素、坚韧不拔的品行。

胡石根和刘贤斌,两个人的共同之处是他们的勇敢无畏。这让我们想起了一生为缅甸民主自由奋斗、荣获诺贝尔和平奖的翁山苏姬女士。当政府军刀枪上膛,对着翁山苏姬吼叫:你只要向前走一步我们就开枪的时候,翁山苏姬面对众多枪口,一步步地向前走去,毫不退缩。今天,我们仿佛也看到,胡石根和刘贤斌,面对着生死关口,
毫不退缩地一步步向前走去。他们每走一步,都是勇气力量的展示,都是人类精神不可战胜的表现,都说明了坚定的信念才是最尖锐的武器这个事实。

这两个人虽然相隔了一代人的年龄,但他们的脚印却是重叠在一起的。这表明了两代人为中国民主自由人权铺垫道路的持续性。正是因为这个持续性,经过几代人前仆后继的奋斗,中国人民才有了一条更加宽广的希望之路。这条道路,把单独、力量微小的个人连接成整体,为了中国百姓们真正的自由和民主,大家前赴后继死去的为了活着的,活着的为了将来出生的生命就这样有意义地连接下去。

如今,黑暗仍然没有过去。中国人们渴望信仰自由、言论自由、以及基本人权的保障,仍然是一面让人流泪向往、可望不可及的旗帜。任何人想要站起来反抗专制,争取这些基本权益,都要付出血泪甚至生命的代价。但是,在黑暗中,永远存在着一些烛光,胡石根、刘贤斌就是这种烛光的代表。他们燃烧自己,为普通百姓们点亮了希望之光。黑暗中的烛光,比太阳更亮。

经过认真考虑,魏京生基金会决定把首届魏京生中国民主斗士奖颁发给这两个人,就是为了表彰他们坚定不移的自由民主信念,以及为了这个信念所表现的勇气、为了全民族的尊严所担当和承受的苦难;同时也是为了让世界人民更加关注中国的人权状况,了解中国民主英雄们所遭受的折磨,以便获得国际的关心和帮助。我们也希望,
这个五千美元的奖金可以对他们目前的困境有一点实际的帮助,同时我们更加希望,这个表彰能够成为所有为中国民主自由人权而奉献的人们的一种精神激励。

在此,我们也向那些被压迫、被囚禁的人们的亲属们,表示诚心的慰问。你们所经受的牵连和困难,也是我们所心痛的。我们感激你们的忍耐,更加感激你们无怨无悔的爱。这种爱,是任何其他人都无法给予的温暖,也是帮助你们的亲人度过难关的重要动力。

另外,这次奖金的数目,相当一部分来自个人的捐献。捐献的人们,捐出的不仅仅是他们的生活费,而且是他们对中国民主支持和参与,表达了对中国民主进程的信心。在此我们向他们及他们对我们的信任表示感谢。

在某种意义上说,今天并不是一个普通的一天。两个获奖人都因为中国人民的自由而放弃了自己的自由,因而不能亲自前来领奖。在这个时刻,我们每个有良知的心都被激活了,充满了感动和正义,更加懂得自由的珍贵和它的生命代价。

现在,让我用两句话来结束这篇对胡石根与刘贤斌授予魏京生中国民主斗士奖的颁奖词。

一句话出自翁山苏姬女士,她说:不要依靠他人的勇气和刚猛。你们每一个人,每一个人都必须为了成为有勇气、有大无畏精神的人而做出牺牲。唯有如此,我们才能够享受真正的自由。

另一句话出自魏京生先生,他说:那些愿意为大多数人牺牲自己的人,永远是极少数。但这极少数的人们,将是最值得让人们尊重的。

谢谢大家。

魏京生基金会 执行主任
黄慈萍 (签发)
2004年12月5日

Prize Dedication to Mr. HU Shigen and Mr. LIU Xianbin as the Awardees
for Wei Jingsheng Foundation's First Annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy
Champion Prize"



Dear friends who support Chinese human rights, freedom and democracy:

Today is an average day.  On today, people work, relax, shop, watch TV
and entertainment, as well as enjoy their friendship and family lives. 
In the evening, in the bars and dance halls, there is music, people singing along, and dance along.

You hear their laughs, and you hear their applause and cheers...

But also in this average day, in other parts of the world, there are
suppressed people who are not heard.  They are locked away, lost from their freedom, their health, even their family...  Facing the bare walls of a tiny jail cell, their treasured lives are wasting away, without their loved ones at their side, without friendship, even without understanding and sympathy...  Like walking bare foot in the cold darkness, they are walking lonely in the snow-covered ice land.  They have been on such a long journey for so long...

These are the people who have voluntarily sacrificed themselves for the
future and happiness of the greater majority.  The famous Chinese author Lu Xun
once said:"People are most afraid of darkness.  Yet, worse is that there is even
no darkness in existence, and any kind of struggle become inexistence."  The famous Jewish author Isaac Bashevis Singer, the 1978 Nobel Literature Prize winner, also expressed that the true heroes are not necessarily those who fought in battle, but those who could survive in the battle against loneliness.

Only those people who are locked away for too long, have the qualification
to tell us what is darkness and loneliness, along with the accompanying
desperation.  This loneliness soaked with scariness is their price pay for the voice of freedom.  Yet, regardless of the justice and loudness of his or her freedom voice, one may never receive the applause and cheers as the singer during entertainment hours.  This fact makes the road to human rights and democracy extremely difficult. And it makes those advocators for freedom, democracy and justice to be the lonely sacrifice.  As they are suppressed by dictatorship, they have also to carry the ignorance, even the misunderstanding of others.  Their moving yet tragic dedication comes from their persistence in their beliefs and their silence to their own sacrifice.

Among them, there are two outstanding Chinese.  One is Mr. HU Shigen. 
One is Mr. LIU Xianbin.  The Wei Jingsheng Foundation has chosen these two as
the winners of the first annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion
Prize", in an effort to salute their years of contribution, dedication and
personal sacrifice for the progress of the Chinese democracy movement.

Our first awardee is Mr. Hu Shigen.  Born in 1954, he is one of the
pioneers of the Chinese human rights and democracy movement.  In 1991 he, along with Mr. LIU Jingsheng and Mr. WANG Guoqi, founded the Chinese Freedom and Democracy Party, the first political opposition party since the Chinese Communist
Party came to power in 1949.  Hu Shigen firmly believed that, for a country of over one billion people, there is a need for a political opposition party and someone must be willing to risk his life in an effort to promote human rights and democracy. 

Mr.Hu was actively involved with the establishing of a number of organizations
advocating human rights and democracy, such as " Alliance for China Progress", and "the Preparation Committee of Free Workers' Union of China".  Because of his
pioneer role and his leadership, he was punished the most with a 20-year
sentence. Currently, he has been in jail for 12 years, with strict physical
restriction.

To keep what he believes, Mr. Hu has given up virtually everything he once
had: his wife divorced him; some relatives and friends distanced him.  Within
his 12 years of jail time, he rarely got visits.  He has only seen his own daughter once.  Years of torture have taken a toll on his health.  Currently, he suffers from liver disease, heart problems, stomach disease, ear infection and severe neurasthenia.  Although he has just reached 50 years old, all his hair has turned to gray.  He has a hard time to walk.  His eyesight has gone so bad that he could not see the stairs clearly. Both of his legs have fractured.  His lumbar vertebra is deformed. If not given timely treatment, he could be handicapped forever.

Hu Shigen was born in the poor area of Jiangxi Province.  In his childhood, he
experienced the suffering of the poor.  In his later years, he studied hard
for knowledge as well as independent thinking.  A college teacher before his
arrest, he combined the best qualities of the Chinese intellectuals: persistence,
rationality, modesty, fairness, and justice.  Those who had contact with him before were all very respectful of his knowledge as well as his moral standing.

Mr.Hu kept his moral standing even within his jail cell.  Even though he suffered
unfairly for years, he kept his forgiveness and kindness.  When he was misunderstood and hurt by people who are close by such that even an outsider got
angry, he expressed his tolerance to the harm.  He suffered such a long
loneliness that friends are worried that he will not came out of jail alive, yet
he keeps his love for live, and continues his study and thinking in his jail cell.  Not only has he tried to study the new technology such as computers, but also he invented a new way for Chinese character input in 1999.  This type of determination has kept him strong in the desperate darkness.  Hu Shigen, just as he described himself, is the gold and diamond stuck in the stone.

Our other awardee is Mr. LIU Xianbin.  Born in 1968, when Mr. Liu was arrested for the first time in 1991 he was still a youthful college student.  He was
intelligent and handsome, yet was sent to jail for two and half years for his
participation in the 1989 democracy movement.  After he served his first jail sentence, he got involved with a list of democracy activities, including the establishment of the Chinese Democracy Party.  He investigated and studied social problems, wrote articles about Chinese democracy and human rights, and crafted petition drives calling for democracy in China.  In 1999, he was arrested again with a speedy sentence of 13 years handed down in less than one month.  Currently serving in a Sichuan jail, Mr. Liu is far away from the political center and lacks much attention.  He has been suffering from T.B.without medical care for 5 years.

Just like Mr. Hu Shigen, Mr. Liu Xianbin also sacrificed most of his life for Chinese democracy.  Before his arrest, he was outside daily working for his
causes, despite his newly wed wife and newborn child.  While his life was in danger, he was also suffering from poverty and illness.  Now he has lost his freedom and health altogether.

One of the most shining qualities of Mr. Liu is his braveness in facing the
most difficult time.  When he was out of jail for the first time, it was the
low tide of the Chinese democracy movement after June 4 massacre in 1989.  People were silenced.  Some escaped.  Yet, Mr. Liu stood up.  When the Chinese pro-
democracy bulletin "Human Rights Watch" was forbidden for publication, he took it
over.  When the cruel reality of the suppression of the Chinese Democracy Party
happened at the end of 1998 with several people detained, Mr. Liu got more
involved, and encouraged his comrades without concern of his own safety.  He had
never meant to make himself a hero, yet he acted as one, due to his firm belief in Chinese democracy and human rights and his simple, plain, yet persistent
character.

Braveness is the shared quality of both Hu Shigen and Liu Xianbin. Their lives
reflect a scene we have known from Aung San Sue Kyi of Myanmar, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who fought for human rights and democracy in her own country. When the military soldiers pointed guns at her with the threat "we will shoot if you
came one step further", she walked toward them.  Today, we can see from both Hu
Shigen and Liu Xianbin, facing life or death, they chose to walk forward.  Their
every step is the display of courage, make us learn their strong belief in
democracy for all.

Although their ages are far apart, their footsteps are overlapped together
in a clear display of the continuity of the generations of Chinese who fought for
Chinese democracy and human rights.  Because of this continuity, because of the
generations' effort with their lives served as the stepping-stones for
others, we have a wider road of hope for our fellow Chinese people.  This road shall connect each individual together, to a destiny of real human rights and democracy. The road is littered with lives and sadness; yet it reveals to us the significance and meaning of our lives.  As Joseph Conrad said "...and to the subtle but invincible conviction of solidarity that knits together the loneliness of innumerable hearts, which binds together all humanity -- the dead to the living, the living to the unborn".

Now, darkness still casts over our fellow Chinese.  The thirst for religious freedom, a free press, and the very basic protection of human rights is still
out of reach for our Chinese fellows.  Those who stand up against dictatorship for our rights, may have to pay the price of their tears and blood, even their freedom and their lives.  Yet, in this darkness, there are some tiny candles shining.  Hu Shigen and Liu Xianbin are fine representatives of these candles.  They burn themselves to provide the light of hope for others.  Indeed, "The candle in the darkness is brighter than sunshine."

After careful evaluation, the Wei Jingsheng Foundation decided to award its
first annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize" to these two
heroes, to salute their firm belief in Chinese democracy, the courage they have
displayed, and the suffering they bear for the dignity and respect of all the
Chinese. Meanwhile, we also want to take this opportunity to encourage the
international community to pay more attention to Chinese human rights abuses, to
learn of the suffering of our democracy heroes, as well as to provide caring and
help, whenever, whatever.  We also hope this $5000.00US prize money will provide some realistic relief for the current difficulties our awardees suffer.  Nevertheless, what we hope most is that this recognition will become a moral boost to our fellow devoted Chinese democracy advocates inside China in extremely difficult circumstances.

Hereby, we also want to express our salute to the family members and loved ones of those who are suppressed and jailed for their democracy beliefs and activities. What you have to endure, is also our pain.  We are thankful for your
tolerance, and more so for your love without reservation.  Your love, which could
provide the warmth to their hearts that no others could, is the important
motivation for your loved ones to survive these most difficult days.

As a larger part of this prize came from the donations of several individuals, the Wei Jingsheng Foundation wants to express our gratitude to our donors and
their confidence in us as well.  These donations are not just money, but also
the expression of your confidence, along with your support and participation in
the Chinese democracy progress.

In some way, today is not an average day.  For the freedom of our Chinese
fellows, both of our awardees do not have their own freedom to come for their
prizes. Atthis moment, our conscience is moved, our sorrow makes us realize more
the preciousness of freedom and pricelessness of lives.

Let me finish this dedication to Hu Shigen and Liu Xianbin, the winners of the first annual "Wei Jingsheng Chinese Democracy Champion Prize", with two encouragements for us all:

One is from Aung San Sue Kyi.  She encourages "not to depend on the courage
and braveness of others, but each of us must be willing to sacrifice for
courage and braveness.  Only this way, we can all enjoy the real freedom."

In contrast, the other is from Wei Jingsheng.  He said: "Those who are willing to
sacrifice themselves for the majority, always are the extremely few.  Yet, these
extremely few, shall be the most respected of all."

We thank you all.

Ciping Huang (signed)
Executive Director
Wei Jingsheng Foundation