Maran Turner (London)
[email protected]
+44 7763 764699

Jared Genser
 (Washington, D.C.)
[email protected]
+1 202 320 4135

London: Today, Freedom Now released a letter sent by a dozen Nobel Peace Prize Laureates to the Prime Minister on September 2, 2015, urging him to call publicly for the release of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia. The letter states:

“We are writing as your fellow Nobel Peace Prize Laureates to ask that you call publicly on the Government of China to release from house arrest Liu Xia, the wife our imprisoned fellow Laureate Dr. Liu Xiaobo, and to allow her to travel abroad for medical treatment as she has requested. We also ask that you urge his immediate release as well . . . All attempts to resolve their detentions through private diplomacy have failed. We believe that unless leaders like you take urgent action, both publicly and privately, that China will continue to believe it can act with impunity and without consequence for its behavior.”

Freedom Now has served as pro bono counsel for the Lius since a few months before Liu Xiaobo was announced as the 2010 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Jared Genser, founder of Freedom Now and lead counsel for the Lius said “We are deeply worried about the fate of both Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia, but would especially implore Prime Minister Cameron to press President Xi to allow Liu Xia to travel abroad for medical treatment on humanitarian grounds. After years of efforts to secure their release, unless the Prime Minister has obtained a private commitment for action, we urge him before the end of the State Visit to publicly call on President Xi to release them.”

The Government of China continues to deny that Liu Xia is under house arrest, claiming she is under “no legal restriction.”  And it is detaining both the Lius despite decisions of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention finding they are both being held in violation of international law.

Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom Liu Xiaoming said last week “What we are against is to use human rights to interfere with other countries’ internal affairs and to impose your own system on to others.”

“What we want, simply put, is for the Chinese government to abide by its own laws and obligations under international law,” added Freedom Now’s Executive Director Maran Turner.