Worldwide Reading for the Democracy Movement in Hong Kong on 9th September 2020

The international literature festival berlin [ilb] is calling on individuals, schools, universities, cultural institutions and the media for a worldwide reading for freedom of expression and assembly on 9 September 2020. These readings are intended to draw attention to the situation of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and human rights in Hong Kong, which were adopted by the United Nations in Paris on 10 December 1948.


The international literature festival berlin [ilb] is calling on individuals, schools, universities, cultural institutions and the media for a Worldwide Reading for Freedom of Expression and Assembly on 9 September 2020. These readings are intended to draw attention to the situation of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and human rights in Hong Kong, which were adopted by the United Nations in Paris on 10 December 1948.

Hong Kong’s recently adopted Security Law and related regulations are part of a long tradition of sometimes subtle, sometimes offensive efforts by the People’s Republic of China to influence the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), which has been semi-autonomous since 1997, and its government formation. In addition to numerous arrests, including that of media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai, pro-democracy activist Benny Tai was dismissed from his position as professor at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in response to the new Security Law. The Guardian wrote on July 1st: “The extent of Beijing’s mandate was made clear as full details of the law were released late on Tuesday, giving authorities sweeping powers to crack down on dissent and allowing China new levels of control over the semi-autonomous territory.”

Already in 2014, the Chinese government stipulated that all candidates for the election of the head of government had to be approved beforehand in Beijing. Known as the “Umbrella Movement”, the population of Hong Kong responded with a series of large-scale demonstrations: Thousands of students and pupils, university teachers and intellectuals, artists, workers and employees demanded, among other things, the withdrawal of the resolution and the introduction of political reforms towards further democratization. There were numerous violent clashes between demonstrators and the police, who used pepper spray and tear gas against the largely peaceful demonstrators and arrested various.

At the end of 2015, five Hong Kong booksellers and publishers were abducted to mainland China where they were interned, interrogated and forced to confess. On February 24, 2020, one of the booksellers, Gui Minhai, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for “illegally passing secret information abroad”. While the Internet, newspapers, television and radio are officially uncensored in Hong Kong, most media are now owned by Chinese investors. Television and radio largely outdo each other in self-censorship.

Since March 2019, there have been renewed large-scale demonstrations against the pro- Beijing Hong Kong government over a draft bill that would also allow the extradition of wanted persons to China. Among other things, the demonstrators were demanding the withdrawal of the extradition bill, universal suffrage and the release of political prisoners. While the draft of the extradition bill was officially withdrawn by the government in September 2019, the responses to the other demands are being sat out. The result: over 1,000 protests and 8,000 arrests since then.

The new Security Law accelerates China’s ongoing efforts to stop critical voices and freedom of expression in Hong Kong. The leadership in Beijing is using the global crisis due to COVID-19 to quickly create facts and undermine the “one country, two systems” principle. The law grants the Hong Kong police extensive search and surveillance powers and criminalises unpleasant political activities as terrorism. This course highlights the urgent need for international attention and solidarity at this time.

Read the 30 articles of human rights, which you can find in over 500 (!) languages on the website of the United Nations and read in our film What Matters by Vivienne Westwood, Nina Hoss, Can Dündar, Patti Smith, Simon Rattle, Ai Weiwei, Elfriede Jelinek, and David Grossman subtitled in the languages Arabic, Chinese, German, English, French, Hindi, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish via our website.

Institutions and persons who would like to participate with a reading on 9 September 2020 are asked to inform us and send information like: name of the organizer, place and date of the event, participants, language of the event and, if you have, website link. Our e-mail address is: The ilb will announce the events on the website and in social media.


Argentina Leila Guerriero I Pola Oloixarac I Noelia Blanco Armenia Viken BerberianAustralia Brian Castro I Charlotte Wood I Kevin John Hart I Kyra Giorgi I Mark Isaacs I Tara June Winch I Austria Christian Duda I Elfriede Jelinek I Belgium Brecht Evens I Philippe de Pierpont Brazil Marcia Tiburi I Pieta Poeta Canada Brian Brett I Gaston Bellemare I John Ralston Saul I Lain Lawrence I Madeleine Thien I Margaret Atwood I Michael M. Day Chile Ariel Dorfman I Carmen Berenguer Croatia Ivana Sajko Czech Republic Radka Denemarková Denmark Kim Fupz Aakeson Dominican Republic Luisa Vicioso Sánchez France Azouz Begag I Marie Holzman I Olivier Guez I Shumona Sinha Georgia Zaza Burchuladze Germany Alban Nikolai Herbst I Burghart Klaussner I Gisela von Wysocki I Hans Christoph Buch I Jeanette Hofmann I Jenny Schon I mawil I Maxi Obexer I Olaf Kühl I Peter Schneider I Reinhard Kleist I Sebastian Lörscher I Stefan Weidner I Stephan Thome I Volker Stanzel I Wolfram Schrettl Greece Christos Chryssopoulos Greenland Jessie Kleemann Hong Kong Charmaine Li I Evans Chan Hungary Elizabeth Csicsery-Ronay India Damodar Mauzo I Manju Kapur I Mimi Mondal I Perumal Murugan I Rambharos Jha Iran Amir Hassan Cheheltan I Fariba Vafi I Negin Ehtesabian Ireland Gabriel Rosenstock Israel Uziel Awret Italy Andrea Garbin I Davide Reviati I Lorenzo Marsili Japan Hiroko Oyamada Luxemburg Pierre Joris Mexico Alberto Ruy-Sánchez I David Huerta I Homero Aridjis I Lydia Cacho I Verónica Murguía Myanmar Kyal Yi Lin Six Nicaragua Gioconda Belli Norway Jan Erik Vold I Linde Hagerup I Sissel Horndal I Tom Egeland Pakistan Ahmed Rashid I Mohammed Hanif Poland Jacek Dehnel Portugal Ana Luisa Amaral I Catarina Sobral Puerto Rico Mayra Santos-Febres Romania Gabriela Adamesteanu I Marius Oprea Russia Alissa Ganijew Serbia Ana Ristovic Sierra Leone Ishmael Beah Slovenia Stanka Hrastelj South Africa Hennie van Vuuren Spain Ana Penyas Sweden Bengt Berg I Ghayath Almadhoun Switzerland Catalin Dorian Florescu I Raphael Urweider I Urs Jaeggi Syria Hala Mohammad I Widad Nabi The Netherlands Anneke Brassinga I Enne Koens Tunisia Meriam Bousselmi Turkey Burhan Sonmez I Ece Temelkuran I Oya Baydar UK Chloe Aridjis I Jeannette Ng I Ma Jian I Priya Basil USA Brittani Sonnenberg I Charles Bernstein I Elvia Wilk I Forrest Gander I John Wray I Joshua Cohen I Maggie Cleveland I Patrick Lichty I Raza Rumi



Organisation: Reporters Without Borders Austria

Event location: online at

Participants: Rubina Möhring, President Reporters Without Borders Austria, Paul Buchacher (design), Carina-Susanna Bauer (editing&camera), Raphael Friedlmayer (editing&camera), Franz Koglmann (music)

Language: German

Organisation: FREIRAD (Freies Radio Innsbruck)

Event location: Innsbruck, Österreich

Time: 0-7 a.m., 8:30-10 a.m., 1-2 p.m., 4-5 p.m., 10-0 p.m.


  • Bettina Lutz (German)
  • Andrew Skinner (English)
  • Filip Malenica (Croatian)
  • Dilara Yolcu (Turkish)
  • Zarah Baqeri (Farsi)
  • Dursun Evren (Kurdish)
  • Caro Vonbank (French)
  • Caroline Sommeregger (Spanish)
  • Hameed Abu Ragheef (Arabic)
  • Jerome Festus Mantyawo (Igbo)
  • Kuhlan Myagmar (Mongolian)
  • Ricky Wong (Cantonese)
  • Leva Urbonaite (Lithuanian)
  • Chaeran Kwon (Korean)
  • Sopio Mikaze (Georgian)
  • Liliya Tsviakova (Greek)
  • Eugene Le Roux (Afrikaans)
  • Saya Auel (Japanese)
  • TBA (Russian)
  • Lena Clasing (Portuguese)
  • Pawel und Joanna Masarczyk (Polish)
  • Katka Csanyiova (Slovak)
  • Marlene Weck (Norwegian)
  • Rian Gommers (Dutch)
  • Marianna Kastlunger (Ladin, Italian)
  • Baiba Dekena (Latvian)


Organisation: Radio Freequenns

Place: Ennstal

Time: 09.09.2020 um 10, 12 und 16 Uhr

Participants: Siegbert Schwab und Ulrike Göking



Organisation: Amnesty International, Köln-Ehrenfeld & the Chinese democracy movement Sino Euro Voices e.V. The event is supported by the Literaturhaus Köln.

Time: 5.30 p.m. & ca. 6.30 p.m.

Participants: 35 participants* from both institutions, of which approx. 15-20 readership

Language: German, partly (6-8 articles) in Chinese


Organisation: Maxim Gorki Theater

Time: available all day at Instagram

Participants: Frederika Tsai (Performer) and Ida Feldmann (Video)

Language: German, English and Chinese


Organisation: Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V.

Time: available on Youtube from 11.30 a.m.

Participants: Alexander Skipis, CEO of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association, reads the poem “The Rabbit and the War” by the imprisoned Swedish-Hong Kong author, publisher and bookseller Gui Minhai, translated into German by Tienchi Martin-Liao

Language: German

Organisation: Literaturclub Campus Efeuweg

Event location: Campus Efeuweg, Efeuweg 34, 12357 Berlin

Time: 2-2.45 p.m.

Participants: 12 students, 7 nationalities

Organisation: Westfälisches Literaturbüro in Unna e.V.

Time: 7.30 p.m.

Participants: Employees of the Westfälischen Literaturbüros

Language: German

Event location: live streaming on

The event is still available on Youtube.

Organisation: Volkshochschule Aachen

Time: 11:55 a.m.

Participants: Employees and course participants of the Volkshochschule Aachen

Languages: German, Czech, Arabic, English and French

Event location: online on the Youtube channel of the VHS Aachen

Organisation: VHV-Verlag

Time: 6 p.m.

Participants: Peter Barden, Cornelia Becker, Victoria Hohmann, Katharina Körting, Maik Gerecke, Andreas Vierheller

Event location: online on Instagram and Facebook

Organisation: Amnesty International Bremen

Event location: Bremer Marktplatz, Am Markt 2, 28195 Bremen

Time: 12-12.30 p.m.

Participants: nine to ten members of Amnesty International


Organisation: Katholische Erwachsenenbildung in Stadt und Landkreis Passau e.V.

Event location: Pfarrheim Ruderting, Passauer Str. 6, Ruderting, 94161 Bayern

Time: 7 p.m.

Participants: Joachim Jauer


Organisation: PEN im Literaturhaus Darmstadt

Event location: Literaturhaus Darmstadt, Kasinostraße 3, 64293 Darmstadt

Time: 7 p.m.


  • Katja Behrens (author and member of PEN)
  • Bernhard Büscher (author)
  • Heinrich Peuckmann (Secretary General of the German PEN)
  • Şehbal Şenyurt Arınlı (Documentary filmmaker, human rights activist, journalist and Writers-in-Exile scholar of the German PEN)
  • Leander Sukov (Vice President and Writers-in-Exile Representative of the German PEN)
  • Marion Tauschwitz (author and member of PEN)


Organisation: Kulturzentrum Kukoon

Event location: Kukoon, Buntentorsteinweg 29, 28201 Bremen

Time: 8-9 p.m.

Participants: Holger Spengler, Kika Schmitz


Organisation: Marathon Lesung für die Demokratiebewegung in Hongkong

Event location: the final video will be shown online and projected in Berlin at

  • feldfünf, Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 7-8, 10969 Berlin
  • NON Berlin, c/o Meinblau Pfefferberg Haus 5, Christinenstraße 18-19, 10119 Berlin
  • neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst e. V., Oranienstraße 25, 10999 Berlin
  • Floating University Berlin, Lilienthalstraße, 10965 Berlin
  • Haus der Statistik, Otto-Braun-Straße 70-72, 10178 Berlin

Participants: any person who wishes to participate in the form of a short video. Each participant selects an article or a paragraph from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reads it in his/her own language while filming a section of the sky, e.g. with a cell phone. This video can be uploaded to the website below, will be subtitled and put together to a marathon reading.




The final event is available on Youtube and on Facebook.

Organisation: Kulturbüro im KuWeBe Schwerte

Event locationt: from the reading window under the chestnut tree at Wuckenhof, Kötterbachstraße 2, 58239 Schwerte

Participants: Andrea Reinecke & Ruhrstadtkinder, Dimitrios Axourgos, Mayor of the city of Schwerte (Präambel), Guests

Time: 6 p.m.

Language: German, Dutch, English, possibly more


Organisation: Negin Ehtesabian (Iran) and Patrick Lichty (USA)

Time: 7:30 p.m., Berlin time

Event: Performance on human rights

Event location: online at Instagram and Facebook

Organisation: Internationale Gesellschaft für Menschenrechte (IGFM)

Time: 11 a.m.

Participants: 11 persons

Event location: online

Websites: &

Organisation: Amnesty International Aachen

Place: Hauptbahnhof in Aachen

Time: 18 bis 19 Uhr

Participants: Reading: Iranian artist Sanaz Zaresani, Musician: Juan Pablo Raimundo from El Salvador

Websites: ;

Organisation: Gedenkstätte Berlin- Hohenschönhausen

Place: Genslerstraße 66, 13055 Berlin

Time: Guided tour for the students at 11 am followed by a reading

Participants: Students of the OSZ Ruth-Cohn-Schule Berlin

Organisation: Münchner Stadtbibliothek 

Place: Münchner Stadtbibliothek Am Gasteig, Rosenheimer Str. 5, 81667 München

Time: 2-4 p.m.

Participants: Employees and users

Language: several languages

Websites: ,

Organisation: Performance-/Diskursplattform Vierte Welt

Time/Place: all-day at

Language: German

Organisation: Bund der Deutschen Katholischen Jugend und Diözesanrat der Katholiken

Place: Jugendkirche sam/Kirche St. Michael (Waldemarstr. 8-10, 10999 Berlin)

Time: 17.00 bis 19.00 Uhr

Language: several languages

Websites: (Participation in presence), (Participation Online)

Organizor: David Jonathan, Autor von „Akilah und die Legende von Bashir“, Edition Periplaneta.

Place: Twitch

Time: 3 p.m.

Language: German

Organisator: Maya Oppitz

Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 719 3434 6588
Passcode: 9gwXPv

Time: 8 p.m. (Berlin time)

Language: German and Chinese



Organisation: Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, PEN Hongkong

Event location: Zoom

Time: 8-9:30 p.m.


  • Kelly Chan
  • Howard Choy
  • Dongli Liang
  • William Nee
  • Ilaria Maria Sala
  • Alvin Wong
  • Xu Xi
  • Sharon Yam
  • Emma Zhang
  • and more.
  • Moderator: Tammy Lai-Ming Ho



Organisation: The Freedom to Write Campaign (Ireland), Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann und Letters With Wings

Event location: Zoom/ Eventbrite

Time: 7-8 p.m. Irish time


  • Celia de Fréine
  • Catherine Dunne
  • Viviana Fiorentino
  • Kate Ennals
  • Iggy McGovern
  • Liz McManus
  • Maria McManus
  • Lia Mills



Organisation: Verein SCHRONK!

Event location: Stadtpark, 2502 Biel

Time: 7 p.m.

Participants: Verein SCHRONK!, Stadtparkleist, Fork Burke, Abdallah Abbdouali and the population

Languages: German, French, English, Arabic, Italian, Swedish and more



Organisation: Villa Aurora Künstlerresidenz & Feuchtwanger Fellowship


  • Zeynel Abidin Kizilyaprak (Turkey, Kurdistan) reads the paragraphs 1-5.
  • Alida Tota (Albania) reads the paragraphs 6-10.
  • Emir Olivares Alonso (Mexiko) reads the paragraphs 11-15.
  • Amir Hassan Cheheltan (Iran) reads the paragraphs 16-20. 
  • Diane Nininahazwe (Burundi)  liest die Paragraphen 21 -25.
  • Onur Burçak Belli (Turkey) reads the paragraphs 26-30.

Event location: online at Instagram and Facebook on September 9th, 2020, and on Youtube


Organisation:  The International Writing Program at The University of Iowa

Participants: Staff, worldwide alumni and friends of the IWP.

Time: 9AM CST

Place: Zoom meeting

Language: multilingual




Amnesty International, Köln-Ehrenfeld, die chinesische Demokratiebewegung Sino Euro Voices e.V., Literaturhaus Köln

Amnesty International Köln Ehrenfeld © Bernd Abele

For further images and a film see here and here.

Maxim Gorki Theater

Maxim Gorki Theater, Frederika Tsai © Ida Feldmann

See also and Instagram.

Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V.

The event is accessible on Youtube.

Literaturclub Campus Efeuweg

Literaturclub Campus Efeuweg © Anja Chrzanowski

Westfälisches Literaturbüro in Unna e.V.

The event is accessible on Youtube.

Volkshochschule Aachen

The event is accessible on Youtube.


The event is accessible on Youtube.

Amnesty International Bremen

Amnesty International Bremen © Claus Walischewski

Amnesty International Aachen

We were happy to take part in a worldwide reading for freedom of expression and assembly, which was called for by the international literature festival berlin [ilb]. The aim of the readings was to draw attention to the situation of freedom of expression and assembly and human rights in Hong Kong. Background information on the “Security Law” was provided on a large, clearly legible board.

Thanks to the Iranian artist Sanaz Zaresani who read the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in German and in Farsi. The reading was accompanied by Juan Pablo Raimundo from El Salvador with his guitar and Vassili Stergiopoulos from Greece with his bongos. Once again, the two musicians from the band SinFronteras inspired the audience to reflect on the state of the world with their music. They remained true to the motto “¡bailar pensando! (“Dance and think!”)

Amnesty International Aachen © Ingeborg Heck-Böckler

The event is also accessible here.

Marathon Lesung für die Demokratiebewegung in Hongkong

The event is accessible on Youtube and Facebook.

Negin Ehtesabian (Iran) und Patrick Lichty (USA)

© Negin Ehtesabian und Patrick Lichty

Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen

© Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen

David Jonathan, Autor von „Akilah und die Legende von Bashir“, Edition Periplaneta.

Die Veranstaltung ist hier verfügbar.

Bund der Deutschen Katholischen Jugend und Diözesanrat der Katholiken

BDKJ Diözesanverband Berlin © Maria Klamet

© Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen

David Jonathan, author of „Akilah und die Legende von Bashir“, Edition Periplaneta.

The event is accessible here.

Bund der Deutschen Katholischen Jugend und Diözesanrat der Katholiken


Reporter Ohne Grenzen Österreich

The event is accessible on Vimeo.

Radio Freequenns

© Radio Freequenns



Verein SCHRONK! © Barbara Meyer Cesta




Villa Aurora Künstlerresidenz & Feuchtwanger Fellowship

The event is accessible on Youtube.