Listening to this BBC interview with my "long time" friend Charles Hugo, what surprised me most was his laughters.
Although I claimed myself to be his "long time" friend, I have hardly ever met his in person actually(apart from a few minutes' encountering which I shamefully didn't remember) . I heard his name and heroic actions back in Beijing in 1999, when the most terrifying crackdown had just started, and when Falun Gong practitioners from all over China gathered in Beijing to discuss what we should do.
Charles was definitely someone who ran "faster" at that time. When we were still pondering what we should or should not do, he had already started to do the most "dangerous" things, such as contacting foreign correspondents in Beijing and have them secretly interview Falun Gong practitioners, at a time when all you could read and hear about Falun Gong were all outrageous lies and slandering from the Chinese government's propaganda.
He got 10 years in prison for that, tortured severely, and was only released as late as in 2012.
I've seen some of his photos with serious expressions on his face; I've watched the wonderful "世事關心 Zooming In" programs about him produced by my marvellous friend Simone Gao, mainly about the dreadful times in China; I've read many of his Facebook posts discussing about serious issues only. Sometimes some of his friends, such as Ariel Tian, would try to figure out, what ten years in prison would mean to a person's mental status and well-being.
So, for me, it is a most pleasant and heartening surprise to hear lots of his laughters in this interview(for the first time). I really love this laughing Charles, as I know his spirit has never, and will never be broken down by anything, because he has "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" in his heart.