Remarks by Václav Havel and Two Members of China's Charter 08 at the Ceremony for the Homo Homini Award

The New York Review of Books Czech President Vaclav Havel

By Václav Havel, Cui Weiping, Xu Youyu

This is an online-only supplement to the April 30 issue of the Review.

Opening of the One World
Human Rights Film Festival,
Prague, Czech Republic,
March 11, 2009

I offer my congratulations to the recipients of this year's Homo Homini Award and I am happy they came here from China. Allow me to make a few remarks. First, I think I will be speaking on behalf of most signatories of Charter 77 if I say that we are both pleased and honored to have inspired the Chinese Charter 08.

Secondly, I would like once more to point out our experience, one that our Chinese friends should adopt in one way or another, the experience that one may never reckon with success, one may never reckon with the situation changing tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, or in ten years. Perhaps it will not. If that is what you are reckoning with, you will not get very far.

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