China urged to release Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and wife Liu Xia

    China urged to release Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and wife Liu Xia

    Dec 11, Beijing: December 8, 2015 marked the seventh anniversary of the arrest of Nobel Peace Laureate and former president of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre Liu Xiaobo. As writers, PEN members and supporters, we stand in continued solidarity with Liu Xiaobo and his wife, the artist and poet Liu Xia, who has been under an illegal house arrest for more than five years.

    Chinese poet and human rights defender Liu Xiaobo was arrested on 8 December 2008, and sentenced to 11 years in prison for his dissident writings and peaceful activism. His imprisonment for "inciting subversion of state power" related to his part as the leading author behind "Charter '08", a manifesto calling for protection of universal human rights and democratic reform in China.

    In October 2010, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his continued and non-violent struggle for human rights in China. In prison and unable to attend the award ceremony in Oslo, he was represented by an empty chair.

    His wife, poet and artist Liu Xia, was placed under house arrest following the Nobel announcement in October 2010 and continues to be held without charge or legal due process. Her home is guarded by security officers and she is prevented from communicating freely with the outside world.

    We believe that the ongoing, extra-judicial house arrest of Liu Xia is intended as punishment for the human rights work carried out by her husband, Liu Xiaobo, and are extremely concerned for her physical and psychological well-being.

    We call on the Chinese authorities to release Liu Xiaobo immediately and unconditionally and lift all restrictions placed on Liu Xia.

    The Oslo Times


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