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HFHR comments visit of Polish parliamentary leaders in China on 4 June

According to a media report, later confirmed by parliamentary sources, a delegation of the Sejm, the lower chamber of the Poland’s Parliament, is to pay an official visit to the People’s Republic of China and meet representatives of the ruling Communist Party on 4 June, the date marking an anniversary of the bloody crackdown of pro-democratic demonstrations in Beijing as well as the Polish “Freedom Day”, or the country’s first partially free elections. Both events took place in the same, memorable 1989 year.

The politicians proud of their Solidarity pedigree who made the word “freedom” their political motto should try to imagine this: you are still in prison, reading a copy of the official regime newspaper dated 13 December, an anniversary of the date of imposition of the Martial Law in Poland. In the paper you see a picture of delegates from the free world, shaking hands with uniformed Communist apparatchiks rather than an “anonymous” Polish citizen living in his flat in Gdańsk.

This is not a childish game: it is precisely the way the Nobel prize winner Liu Xiaobo, serving his 11-year sentence for promoting the ideas that drove your political careers, will learn about your visit. If you think the date has been set accidentally, think again. Leaders of the Communist Party of China hand-picked the day to show Mr Xiaobo and the likes that nobody cares about them, nobody remembers that they are left alone. Fortunately, we weren’t alone taking back our freedom on 4 June. And the freedom we took gives us today both the right and duty to shout: open your eyes and see what you are doing. Let’s celebrate our freedom and light a candle in our windows in the evening.

There are other 364 days in a year to hold an official visit of Polish politicians in China.

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