...said the Chinese government as Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was named the winner of the internationally esteemed Nobel Peace Prize "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." As a long time democracy and human rights activist, Liu Xiaobo has been targeted by the Chinese government for his writings and for his role in the Tiananmen Square protests. Most notably, Liu was detained in December 2008 and disappeared for co-authoring "Charter 08," a manifesto calling for political reform and democratization in China. In June 2009, Liu was formally arrested for "agitation activities, such as spreading rumors and defaming the government, aimed at subversion of the State and overthrowing the socialism system."
Liu Xiaobo is currently being held in a prison in northern China where his wife Liu Xia hopes to travel to in order to share the good news about the award. "I'm totally shocked and feel so happy," said Liu Xia, although "she regretted her husband couldn't share the moment with her." He will be "surprised and humbled," she said. "It's an affirmation of what he has fought for." (Read more after the jump)
The Chinese government had previously warned that awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo "would pull the wrong strings in relations between Norway and China [who are in the midst of trade negotiations], it would be seen as an unfriendly act... This person was sentenced to jail because he violated Chinese law."
Yet, today the awarding of the Prize to Liu Xiaobo declares that the international community stands in solidarity with Liu Xiaobo in calling for reform in China and that the Chinese government needs to examine its laws. Today the Prize has not been violated and blasphemed; it has been honored and respected. It is time for China to admit its wrongdoing, release Liu Xiaobo, and listen to its citizens' demands for change.
Please join Laogai Research Foundation in calling upon the Chinese government to release Liu Xiaobo to accept his award in person. Follow the campaign on Twitter @freeliuxiaobo.