October 25th, 2005

About Shi Tao.

Please take a moment to read this letter from Liu Xiaobo to Jerry Yang regarding Yahoo's role in helping the Chinese government arrest and imprison Shi Tao.
I write this letter for the sole purpose of protesting against the disreputable deeds of your company. As you know, Shi Tao, an outstanding Chinese journalist, was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment, and his arrest and sentence were essentially based on the evidence supplied by your company.


Generally speaking, dictatorship makes man dark in mind and freedom gives man a broad and bright mind. Therefore, you should have known more than I do about the principles that a citizen's right of speech and right of privacy cannot be violated, that the principles of a "state secret" and "personal privacy" cannot be confused, and that in business, the profit of customers and that of the company should be well measured and balanced. However, a man brought up in a country of freedom and a successful man in business like you is so meek before the dark forces and terror, so inclined to choose a darker way of life and so willing to give up morality for money that your company actively abandoned the universal standards of human rights and gratified all requests from the dictators. In this sense, the words you used to defend yourself — "Their request is lawful and it is equally lawful for us to give them information they asked for" — comprise a double negation of your conscience and intellect.

The arrest of Shi Tao has been written up by the Los Angeles Times, Human Rights Watch, and the San Jose Mercury News.