Dec 21, 2011

East Turkestan: Rebiya Kadeer Remembers Vaclav Havel

Open letter by WUC’s Rebiya Kadeer on the death of Václav Havel

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC), Uyghurs worldwide and I are saddened by the passing of the former President of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel. We would like to express our deepest sympathies with Mr. Havel’s family and also with the Czech people.

Mr. Havel was an uncompromising advocate for truth, justice and peace. His life was devoted to arts, human rights and democracy. It is these passions that made him a true and natural friend of the Uyghur people who continue in their struggle for freedom from Chinese state repression.

Mr. Havel’s vision for the Czech people, captured in his leadership of Charter 77, speaks to Chinese democrats today. The creation of Charter 08 by prominent members of Chinese society contains the spirit of that vision and the seeds of a new era for political reform in China.

I had the very high honor of meeting Mr. Havel during his lifetime. I was inspired by his commitment to democratic change across the globe. He told me to never give up the fight for justice, even during the worst hours of governmental repression. Mr. Havel not only understood our ongoing plight in China, but also saw through the propaganda of all totalitarian states. Mr. Havel’s handling of the post-Communist era is a model of leadership for all those people who will eventually overcome their repressive regimes.

While we mourn the passing of Mr. Havel, we must also be thankful for his formidable work on behalf of his own people, as well as oppressed peoples the world over. His spirit will no doubt inspire many others to question injustice, seek truth and continue in their pursuit for democracy in the darkest corners of the world.


Rebiya Kadeer

WUC President