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Congratulate Liu Xiaobo for Winning the Nobel Peace Prize,
Demand Immediate Release of Liu Xiaobo and all Prisoners of Conscience
8 October 2010
The Norwegian Nobel Committee today (8 October 2010) announced to give this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to prominent Beijing writer Dr. Liu Xiaobo. We whole-heartedly congratulate Liu Xiaobo. We believe that he is very much qualified to receive this award. Since the pro-democracy movement in 1989, Liu Xiaobo has never stopped using his pen to peacefully call for improvement of human rights and democracy in China.
In December 2008, Liu Xiaobo and 32 other public intellectuals originally planned to release the “Charter 08”, which was drafted with reference to Czechoslovak’s “Charter 77”, China’s Constitution and the two major international human rights covenants, on 10 December to mark the 60th anniversary of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “Charter 08” was about the intellectuals’ demand for political reforms, the rule of law and protection of basic human rights, which was in line with the spirit of the Nobel Peace Prize. Until now, more than 10,000 people have co-signed the “Charter 08”.
However, the Chinese government clamps down on its citizens’ freedom of speech and imprison those who speak against the regime. On 25 December 2009, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment and deprived of political rights for two years on the charge of so-called “inciting subversion of state power”. Other famous human rights defenders and writers, such as Hu Jia, Gao Zhisheng, Chen Guangcheng, Shi Tao and Guo Feixiong are still either being imprisoned or under severe surveillance. Liu Xianbin, one of the first batch of signatories of “Charter 08” and a pro-democracy activist and writer in Sichuan province, was taken away by public security officers on 28 June 2010. He was later also formally arrested and charged with “inciting subversion of state power”. We urge the Chinese government to respect its citizens’ freedom to peacefully express their opinions. We also demand that the Chinese government should immediately release Liu Xiaobo and other dissidents.
Finally, we strongly protest against Chinese vice foreign minister Fu Ying’s attempt to impose pressure on the Nobel Committee not to give the award to Liu Xiaobo. Such act was a vast insult to the Nobel Peace Prize and it showed that the Chinese government tried to influence this most important and world-recognized award by political pressure. We hope that the international community can have a better understanding of the various human rights violations done by the Chinese government and urge the Chinese government to sincerely improve its appalling human rights records.
Democratic Party of Hong kong
Independent Chinese PEN Centre
Hong Kong Journalists Association
Tiananmen Mothers Campaign
China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group
Christians for Hong Kong Society
Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese
Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China
Laogai Research Foundation