Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), the prominent independent intellectual and long-time democracy advocate, was awarded the Nobel peace prize today for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” In its citation, the Nobel Committee noted that despite China’s economic advances, “China’s new status must entail greater responsibility,” and pointed to China’s breach of international agreements and its own constitutional guarantee of fundamental rights and freedoms.
“This award comes at a critical historical crossroads in China and constitutes a powerful affirmation for the voices calling for change,” said Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China. “As Liu Xiaobo and other Chinese advocates for change have pointed out, the only sustainable road ahead for China in one towards greater openness and political reform. This has most recently even been publicly stated by senior Chinese officials.”
HRIC urges that Chinese authorities immediately release Liu Xiaobo and all of the other political prisoners who are currently incarcerated for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
In December 2009, Liu was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to eleven years in prison for his role in drafting the Charter 08, a public appeal for sweeping political reform, and for articles which he previously had published online. (Human Rights in China translated six of his articles and documents related to his case in the 2010 no. 1 issue of China Rights Forum – see below for links.)
For English translations of Liu Xiaobo’s articles and documents relating to his case, see “Freedom of Expression on Trial in China”:
“Inciting Subversion of State Power”?: Six Essays by Liu Xiaobo and Charter 08
Freedom of Expression on Trial: Liu Xiaobo Legal Case Documents
Freedom of Expression across Borders
For more information about Liu Xiaobo, see: