On PEN’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer, Salil Tripathi, writer, journalist, and chair of PEN's Writers in Prison Committee, writes to publisher Gui Minhai, whose whereabouts has been unknown since his forced disappearance in October 2015.
Dear Gui Minhai,
We are sending this letter into the dark, because we don’t know where you are. We don’t know how you are being treated, or whether you have the things you need.
What we know is how brave you are. We know your work as a publisher at Mighty Current spread banned but important works into mainland China and – like you - we want diverse, challenging, critical narratives to be available to everyone in China.
We remain in the dark – we don’t know exactly what charges you face. We don’t know when we will next hear news about you, nor do we know if we will have the chance to meet you.
What we know is that you stand for courage and peaceful protest, honesty, and integrity of thought. You stand for a writer's autonomy. We draw inspiration from your courage and resilience in the face of powerful oppression; thank you for showing us that, thank you for being a source of light.
I send this letter into the dark, hoping you will read it, that our message will reach you. I want you to know that your strength and bravery have given comfort and hope to us, and we hope that you may find some comfort in our solidarity. We raise our voices today against your forced disappearance, and wish with all our might that we will see you on the other side very soon.