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Liu Xiaobo – only Nobel peace laureate still detained

Posted by on 2010/11/21. Filed under International. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Nov 21, 2010 – 11:38:29 PM

The entire world applauded when Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma’s pro-democracy opposition and winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, was freed on on 13 November. Her release means that Chinese political dissident Liu Xiaobo (刘哓波) is now the only winner of this prestigious award to remain in detention.

Aung San Suu Kyi and Liu Xiaobo have similar destinies. Both are fighting for democracy in their countries and both were locked up by governments that do not respect freedom of expression. Will the former’s release prompt the Chinese authorities to release their “Nobel”, who continues to serve an 11-year jail sentence?

Reporters Without Borders reiterates its call for the release of Liu and all of China’s political prisoners. The Chinese government hailed Aung San Suu Kyi’s release, calling her an “important political figure” and voicing confidence in the process of peace and ethnic reconciliation in Burma. So why shouldn’t it follow suit with Liu? There is an urgent need to end his unjust imprisonment.

Reporters Without Borders also reiterates its call for the release of Burma’s 2,200 political prisoners and for the Burmese authorities to stop censoring the media and allow them to report Aung San Suu Kyi’s release and to cover her current activities.

Meanwhile, there has been no let-up in the harassment and pressure on Liu’s family and supporters and all the other free speech activities in China.

The Chinese government has already tried to dissuade diplomats from attending the Nobel award ceremony on 10 December in Oslo and has prevented several Chinese human rights activists from leaving the country in case they go to Oslo. Liu’s wife, Liu Xia (刘霞), is still under house arrest while his brothers are pessimistic about their chances of being able to travel. Liu has also been denied a monthly visit by relatives. Mao Shaoping (马少平), a human rights lawyer who supports Liu, is among those who have been prevented from travelling abroad.

The Nobel Committee could as a result find itself unable to hand over this year’s peace prize, said one of its leading members, Geir Lundestad, describing Liu as “one of the most important Nobels in history.”

The authorities are also continuing to arrest Liu supporters. (…)


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