Author: Sonya (The opinions expressed in this commentary are their own)
In May 2020, Gnews reported on the arrest of the volunteers of Project Terminus2049. 123 days passed by, Chen Mei and Cai Wai are still in detention. People believe they were arrested due to Covid-19 related news on their platform.
Project Terminus2049 is a series of repos hosted on GitHub. Terminus is the furthest planet from the center of the milky way. The project aims to backup censored articles deleted by WeChat and Weibo with decentralized technology. The platform backed up numerous news on Covid-19 before the arrest.
According to the earliest rescue message on Facebook (南方傻瓜关注群), we got to know a little more about them:
Cai Wei, Hubei Province, 1993, used to work in a technology company. He holds a bachelor degree (2015) from Central University of Finance and Economics, and a master degree on Sociology (2018) from Tsinghua University (a top 2 University in China)
Chen Mei, Shaxi Province, 1993, graduated from South China Agricultural University. He worked at a non-profit organization in Beijing prior to the arrest
Freedom of speech, religion, assembly and movement are among the basic human rights. The Chinese people (old hundred names) had never had any human dignity, let alone any freedom. The censorship in China has become more extreme in the past few years. Reality shows start to censor the lyrics. More and more people are banned on social media. During the darkest moment, these young folks fight for the freedom of speech. They are not only pursuing freedom for their own, they are also trying to let the common people access the censored information. Without the freedom of speech, there will never be freedom of thought.
Cai Wei’s girlfriend Tan Hongbo spoke out on August 20th, 2020. She was arrested together with Cai Wei and Chen Mei and bailed out later. The words are so touching:
“After sending these words, I know I may be arrested again and charged with some random accusation, or, maybe I’ll lose my job and let my family be so concerned. However, I can’t sit here and do nothing. I don’t think Cai Wei and Chen Mei would get a fair trial in the court when they (the government) violate the law. The court assigned the lawyers mandatorily when we expressed we had other lawyers for their case.”
“I never regret being with you, even if I know what would happen 5 years ago. I will still choose you”, I would tell you this the day when I see you again.
I admire Cai Wei, Chen Mei and other people who still uphold their belief. “Freedom is a light for which many men have died in darkness” is engraved on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolutionary War. In my country, my people are also fighting the darkness. The darker the night, the brighter the stars.
The lyrics from Cai Wei’s last online posting:
Singing in the long night
I’m not afraid of the darkness
The light in my heart never goes out
Singing in the wilderness
I‘m not afraid of chaos
The new universe is emerging around me