CHRD Hails Decision to Award Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo1 Comment
CHRD Hails Decision to Award Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo
Chinese government must immediately free Liu and all incarcerated human rights defenders
(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, October 8, 2010) – CHRD hails the Nobel Committee’s announcement and congratulates the imprisoned activist, writer and intellectual, Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), on being awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize honors Liu for his decades-long dedication to promoting democracy and human rights in China. Mr. Liu is serving an 11-year prison sentence for “inciting subversion of state power,” primarily for his support of Charter 08, a citizens’ manifesto calling for democratic reform published in December 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“The Prize honors the more than 10,000 Chinese citizens who have bravely signed on in support of the ideas expressed in Charter 08 and all prisoners of conscience in China,” said Zhang Zuhua, a Beijing-based activist who originally drafted Charter 08. “These principles of nonviolence, equality, and respect for human rights could not be more aligned with the values of the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Of the 303 original signatories to Charter 08, many were interrogated by the police, and several had their homes raided and personal property confiscated. Others have been put under house arrest or police surveillance. The government has tried to censor the document within China by removing it from websites and online forums. The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu will undoubtedly introduce Charter 08 to a new and wider audience.
“Awarding the Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo also honors all Chinese human rights defenders—Chen Guangcheng, Hu Jia, Gao Zhisheng, and countless others—who have suffered a great deal for advocating human rights,” noted Renee Xia, CHRD’s International Director. “We can only hope that the Peace Prize will add momentum to the efforts for their freedom and encouragement for their long road ahead,” said Xia.
CHRD specifically wishes to thank those who have worked hard to nominate Liu as well as those who have advocated on his behalf, especially the former Czech President Václav Havel. CHRD commends the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for standing up to the Chinese government, which tried to influence its decision by threatening severe consequences for diplomatic relations with the Norwegian government.
CHRD asks US President Obama, winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, to ask Chinese President Hu Jintao to free Mr. Liu at the G20 summit in South Korea on November 11 and 12.
Liu was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment on December 25, 2009. Liu is a vocal critic of the Chinese government. For his criticism, he has been repeatedly harassed and incarcerated. In 1989, Liu was jailed for 18 months for participating in the student democracy movement. In 1995, he was subjected to “soft detention” for eight months in a Beijing suburb for issuing a public petition. In 1996, he was sent to three years of Re-education through Labor (RTL).
Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin), +852 8191 6937 or +1 301 547 9286
Wang Songlian, Research Coordinator (English and Mandarin), +852 8191 1660
For further information, please see
“Jail Sentence Upheld for Activist Liu Xiaobo,” February 11, 2010, https://www.nchrd.org/2010/02/11/jail-sentence-upheld-for-activist-liu-xiaobo/
“Liu Xiaobo Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison,” December 25, 2009, https://www.nchrd.org/2010/01/04/liu-xiaobo-sentenced-to-11-years-in-prison/
“Human Rights Day in China: Liu Xiaobo Accused of ‘Major Crime’ for Drafting Charter 08,” December 10, 2009, https://www.nchrd.org/2009/12/09/liu-xiaobo-accused-of-major-crime-for-drafting-charter-08/
“Liu Xiaobo Formally Arrested for ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power,’” June 24, 2009, https://www.nchrd.org/2009/06/24/liu-xiaobo-formally-arrested-for-%E2%80%9Cinciting-subversion-of-state-power%E2%80%9D/
“Chinese Government Responds with a Crackdown on Activists for Commemorating 60th Anniversary of UDHR,” December 9, 2008, https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class98/200812/20081210085443_12282.html