On hearing that Liao Yiwu, the Chinese writer and intellectual, was prevented from leaving the country, Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle today (1 March) issued the following statement:
“I regret the fact that the writer Liao Yiwu has once again been banned from travelling to Germany. Although the German Government had repeatedly requested, at high level, that he be allowed to travel, these requests were unfortunately unsuccessful.
We will continue to campaign for freedom of opinion and civil rights in an open dialogue with China, and we greatly hope to welcome Liao Yiwu to Germany soon.”
The Chinese author wanted to travel to Germany at the invitation of the lit.COLOGNE literary festival.