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Liu XiaoboChina

 

2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, 59, is a Chinese scholar and renowned dissident who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power” on December 25, 2009, for his role in drafting Charter 08. An English-version of Charter 08 can be read here. Dr. Liu is widely considered China’s most prominent dissident. He has been selected to receive the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”

The Chinese government previously detained Dr. Liu for his peaceful democracy advocacy on three occasions, including his participation in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Dr. Liu was one of four intellectuals who negotiated with the army for the safe passage of students out of the Square.

In 2008, Dr. Liu was one of the primary drafters of Charter 08, a political manifesto modeled on the Czechoslovakian Charter ’77. Charter 08 calls for increased rule of law, greater respect for human rights, and the end to one-party rule in China. Although mention of the online petition is not allowed within China’s great Internet firewall, to date, Charter 08 has been signed by almost 10,000 Chinese citizens and is considered influential in beginning to unite the Chinese dissident movement.

The Chinese government detained Dr. Liu on December 8, 2008—two days before the official release of Charter 08 on the 60th Anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The government held Dr. Liu in solitary confinement and denied him access to his lawyers.

Dr. Liu was not formally arrested until June 23, 2009, when the State News Agency, Xinhua, quoted police as saying in a statement that ”Liu has been engaged in agitation activities, such as spreading of rumors and defaming of the government, aimed at subversion of the state and overthrowing the socialism system in recent years.”

On December 23, 2009, Dr. Liu was tried for “inciting subversion to state power” under Article 105 of the Chinese Criminal Procedure Code. His trial violated international standards for due process of law. His wife, Liu Xia, and foreign diplomats and journalists were not allowed to attend the trial. On December 25, 2009, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison and two years deprivation of political rights. In the verdict, his signing of Charter 08 was named as part of the evidence against him.

After the Nobel Committee announced that Dr. Liu was the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, was placed under de facto house arrest. Liu Xia was escorted to Jinzhou prison to inform Dr. Liu that he won the Nobel Peace Prize and subsequently escorted back to her Beijing apartment, where she remains detained today. Her communication with the outside world is restricted. Many supporters of Liu Xiaobo are now also under house arrest or otherwise detained.

Heads of state, prominent intellectuals, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have called for Dr. Liu’s release. Dr. Liu was nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize by Freedom Now Honorary Co-chairs Archbishop Desmond Tutu and The Honorable Václav Havel, as well as the Dalai Lama, André Glucksmann, Vartan Gregorian, Mike Moore, Karel Schwarzenberg, and Grigory Yavlinsky.

Freedom Now represents Dr. Liu as his international pro bono legal counsel with a team of international human rights specialists, including NYU Law Professor and Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations Jerome A. Cohen, Canadian Member of Parliament and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General Irwin Cotler, Former Canadian Member of Parliament and Secretary of State, Asia Pacific David Kilgour, and former Freedom Now client and Founder and President of Initiatives for China Dr. Yang Jianli.

Selected documents from Liu Xiaobo's case
Canadian Parliament Letter to Prime Minister Harper November 4, 2010

Urging the Prime Minister to Raise the cases of Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

China Must Release Liu Xiaobo – or Lose its CredibilityDecember 5, 2010

The Observer Op-Ed by Václav Havel and Desmond Tutu arguing that Beijing will lose respect unless it allows Liu Xiaobo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10.

Criminalizing Dissent November 1, 2010

Ottawa Citizen Op-Ed by Irwin Cotler.

Desmond Tutu’s plea: Stand up for Liu XiaoboJune 3, 2013

LA Times op-ed by Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu and Freedom Now founder and board member Jared Genser calling for President Obama to call for Liu Xiaobo's release in his meeting with Chinese President Xia.

Do We Have to Wait 30 Years for Human Rights in China?January 21, 2011

Op-Ed by Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt calling on President Obama to hold the Government of China accountable for its continued and illegal detention of Freedom Now clients Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng.

Empty Chairs in Oslo Speak VolumesNovember 11, 2010

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Jerome A. Cohen and Eva Pils calling attention to China’s efforts to prevent supporters of Liu Xiaobo from attending the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo.

Free Liu XiaoboOctober 8, 2012

Huffington Post op-ed by Freedom Now founder and board member Jared Genser calling for China to respect human rights and release Liu Xiaobo from prison.

Freedom Now Press Release December 10, 2010

Deploring the decision of the Chinese Government to prevent Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, from attending the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony.

Freedom Now Press ReleaseOctober 8, 2010

Releasing the statement of Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo’s wife, welcoming the announcement of the Nobel Committee awarding the Peace Prize to her husband.

Freedom Now Press Release November 5, 2010

Canadian Parliament Members Urge Prime Minister Harper to Raise Cases of Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Freedom Now Press Release November 5, 2010

Members of British Parliament Urge Prime Minister Cameron to Address Cases of Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng at G-20.

Freedom Now Press Release December 8, 2010

Welcoming U.S. House of Representatives Resolution 1717 calling for the Release of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia.

Freedom Now Press Release August 1, 2011

Announcing the opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention finding that the detention of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, is a violation of international law and calling for their immediate release.

Freedom Now: Press ReleaseOctober 10, 2010

Announcing that Liu Xiaobo's wife Liu Xia is being detained.

If China frees Nobel winner, it will show its strengthOctober 22, 2010

Washington Post Op-Ed by Václav Havel and Desmond Tutu

In China, Repression is a Family AffairApril 26, 2013

Wall Street Journal op-ed by Freedom Now Founder Jared Genser calling on the international community to demand that the Chinese government respect fundamental human rights.

Letter from 134 Nobel Laureates to Incoming Chinese President Xi JinpingDecember 4, 2012

Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia.

Letter from 15 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and Freedom Now Press ReleaseOctober 25, 2010

Calling on world leaders to urge Chinese President Hu Jintao to release Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia.

Letter from 30 Members of CongressOctober 6, 2010

Urging President Obama to ask Chinese President Hu Jintao at the G20 summit in Seoul, South Korea from November 11-12, 2010, to release Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng.

Letter from 30 members of CongressJanuary 14, 2011

Calling on President Obama to raise human rights during China’s 2011 state visit and calling for the release of Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng.

Letter from 30 organizations to President Barack ObamaJune 5, 2013

Urging the US President to call for the release of Chinese prisoners of conscience during his bilateral summit with President Xi Jinping of China.

Letter from British Parliament Members to Prime Minister Cameron November 5, 2010

Urging Prime Minister to Address Cases of Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng at G-20.

Letter from U.S. Representative Ros-LehtinenJanuary 14, 2011

Calling on President Obama to raise human rights during China’s 2011 state visit and calling for the release of Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng.

Liu case lost in keen bid for tradeJune 26, 2013

The Australian op-ed by Freedom Now founder Jared Genser urging Australian Prime Minister Gillard to press Chinese President Xi Jinping for Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia's release.

Liu Xiaobo Deserved the Nobel PrizeJanuary 4, 2011

Ottawa Citizen Op-Ed by David Kilgour

Mr. Obama, Speak Up for Human Rights in China January 19, 2011

Washington Post Op-Ed by former Chinese political prisoner and Freedom Now client Dr. Yang Jianli.

Nobel Prize and human rightsOctober 13, 2011

The Korean Times op-ed by Freedom Now founder Jared Genser comments on the plight of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Liu Xiaobo, his wife, Liu Xia, and fellow Chinese prisoner of conscience, Gao Zhisheng.

Opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary DetentionAugust 1, 2011

Finding the imprisonment of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, in violation of international law and calling for their immediate release.

Petitions to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention November 4, 2010

Submitted by Freedom Now on behalf of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia.

President Obama Makes Hu Jintao Look Good on RightsJanuary 19, 2011

Washington Post Editorial reaffirming call for release of Freedom Now clients Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng.

Press Release December 8, 2011

Announcing the creation of the International Committee of Support to Liu Xiaobo.

Press Release by Irwin Cotler M.P., member of Liu Xiaobo’s international legal team December 14, 2010

Announcing that the Canadian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Human Rights unanimously passed a resolution welcoming the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize and calling on the Chinese government to release Liu Xiaobo.

Statements of Support and Calls for the Release of Liu XiaoboOctober 13, 2010

Made by prominent leaders of the international community.

Submission to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human RightsMarch 4, 2013

Freedom Now submitted a report on behalf of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia to be considered as part of the Universal Periodic Review of China's human rights policies and practices.

Testimony by Freedom Now Founder Jared GenserJuly 25, 2012

At a hearing entitled "Investigating the Chinese Threat, Part Two: Human Rights Abuses, Torture and Disappearances" before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Testimony by Freedom Now Program Attorney Patrick GriffithDecember 12, 2012

At a hearing entitled, "Two Years Later: The Ongoing Detentions of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and His Wife Liu Xia" before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

The Ordeal of China's Liu XiaMarch 30, 2014

Wall Street Journal op-ed by Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu and Freedom Now founder and board member Jared Genser drawing attention to the Chinese government's unlawful detention of Liu Xia, the wife of jailed Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo, whose health has deteriorated under house arrest.

The West must not forget Liu Xiaobo’s plightAugust 1, 2011

Times Op-Ed by Jared Genser commenting on the opinion of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary -Detention finding the detention of Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, to be in violation of international law and calling for their immediate release.

To combat China’s crackdown on dissidents, a new strategy is neededOctober 28, 2013

Washington Post op-ed by Freedom Now Founder Jared Genser calling on the Obama administration to adopt a new strategy to support human rights in China.

UN Calls for Liu Xiaobo’s Release August 7, 2011

Voice of America editorial reporting that the UN’s panel of independent human rights experts has called for China to free Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo and his wife immediately.