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Freedom for Liu Xiaobo and All Imprisoned by the Chinese Government for Exercising Their Rights

December 8, 2010

Joint Statement by

Students for a Free Tibet, Human Rights in China, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, International Campaign for Tibet, International Federation for Human Rights, Tibetan Youth Congress of New York & New Jersey, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization and the Uyghur American Association

Today, we, a group of ten non-governmental organizations – Students for a Free Tibet, Human Rights in China, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, International Campaign for Tibet, International Federation for Human Rights, Tibetan Youth Congress of New York & New Jersey, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, and the Uyghur American Association – congratulate the independent Chinese intellectual, scholar, and activist Liu Xiaobo for being awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, and call on the Chinese government to release Liu from prison unconditionally.

In the award ceremony in Oslo on Friday, December 10, neither the Nobel Laureate nor his family members will be present to receive the honor, because Liu Xiaobo is serving an 11-year prison sentence for what the Chinese government calls “inciting subversion of state power”; his wife, Liu Xia, is under house arrest; and his brothers have been barred from leaving China.

In awarding Liu Xiaobo the Peace Prize, the Nobel Committee has acted courageously, especially in light of China’s growing global political influence and of the pervasive perception that no country in the world can afford to disagree with or antagonize China.

While some heads of state and international organizations lower their heads and voices, the Nobel Committee, with this Prize, has declared, loudly and clearly, that a common bond connects the Chinese people with all the world’s people. This common bond is a set of universal values that include the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, and the right to freedom of opinion and expression. For this strong act of engagement with the Chinese government on fundamental principles, we commend the Nobel Committee.

In addition to releasing Liu Xiaobo, we call on the Chinese government to demonstrate through its actions that it respects the rights protected by international human rights law and Chinese law. It can begin by releasing all individuals who have been imprisoned for exercising these rights.


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