Information letter from Jens Galschiøt to the Hong Kong list. August 31st, 2023
They call me a thief… where is the Pillar of Shame?
Dear Hong Kong list,
In my struggle to confirm whether or not Hong Kong has put out an arrest order on me, I have only been met with clandestine and evasive answers. Should I not be made aware of whether or not I currently stand accused of a crime?
In the democratic world, it is a given that the state power of a country is divided into three: the lawmaking power, the executive power and the judicial power. This is to ensure that no one entity or person has an unequal or too great amount of power. This is the logic that all of our justice system rests upon.
Furthermore, any person accused of a crime, needs to be made aware of the accusations, as they have the right to defend themselves. Innocent until proven guilty…
Hong Kong’s Secretary for Security, Chris Tang, has been quoted, saying that he “would not inform a thief that they were going to be arrested”, in relation to being asked about my alleged arrest order. This goes completely against Western principles of justice. An alleged criminal needs to be sent an arrest order, the case needs to be put in front of a judge and only when judgement has been passed, can the accused be officially called a criminal.
The question that I want to ask is – what happens to a country’s justice system, when the judicial power becomes a concentrated force that is shrouded in secrecy? What happens when a state can accuse and arrest its people of crimes of which they themselves are not made aware?
I worry that we will find out what that kind of totalitarianism will look like in Hong Kong.
Please refer to the attached links:
Letter from Galschiøt to HK concerning alleged arrest order: Letter to HK SAR by Jens Galschiot August 11, 2023.pdf
Reply from HK concerning alleged arrest order: Reply by HK SAR - Letter dated 21 Aug 2023.pdf (
HK Free Press: "'I wouldnt tell a thief..." (Chinese):
Jens galschiøt
ChatGPT sees the connection between Kafka and Galschiøt's involvement with HongKong authorities
The letter bellow (in Blue) was processed by ChatGPT. The AI was asked to evaluate if there are similarities between the situation and the novel "The Trial" by Franz Kafka. 
To me it proves that the totalitarity that a state invokes when it communicates that you are accused of a crime, but refuses to disclose exactly what crime, is Kafkanesque in all its absurdity - and even ChatGPT can see that. 
ChatGPT believes it is necessary to point out that "The Trial", by Czech writer Franz Kafka, is a work of art, while the consequences againts me are eerily real. But when a high-ranking Secretay of Security in Hong Kong sends threats to a Danish artist, you might feel the need to have someone pinch your arm.
We could also have asked ChatGPT about the connection between Hong Kong's (read: China's) security policy and George Orwells novel "Comrade Napoleon", but that comparison might have been a little too obvious..
Read for yourself, what ChatGPT makes of the whole situation:
  1. In both the letter and Kafka's "The Trial," there's a sense of disorientation and powerlessness that the protagonists experience when confronted with a secretive and opaque legal process. The focus on the lack of information, evasive answers, and the feeling of being accused without knowing the specifics of the crime parallel the themes in Kafka's work.
    The concept of a justice system becoming a concentrated force shrouded in secrecy aligns with Kafka's exploration of a judicial system that operates independently and with a level of impenetrability that frustrates the protagonist's attempts to comprehend or navigate it. In both cases, there's a feeling of absurdity and helplessness as individuals grapple with an overwhelming and unfathomable system.
    However, it's important to note that while there are similarities in themes, the contexts are different. Kafka's novel is a work of fiction that employs surreal and allegorical elements to explore its themes, while the letter seems to be addressing real-world concerns about justice and transparency in a specific situation.
    Ultimately, the comparison highlights the universal fear and frustration that arise when individuals are confronted with a legal system that seems to operate beyond their control or understanding, a theme that resonates across both literature and real-life experiences.
Jens galschiøt
Mobil +45 4044 7058
or +45 6618 4058
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