For Immediate Release:
June 24, 2009
Laogai Research Foundation condemns formal arrest of noted scholar and dissident Liu Xiaobo Washington, D.C.- The Laogai Research Foundation condemns the formal arrest of noted scholar and dissident Liu Xiaobo. Liu, who has been imprisoned without just cause since December 8th, 2008, has formally been charged with “inciting subversion of state power.” Mr. Liu’s lengthy detention and subsequent arrest stem from his strong support of Charter ’08, which calls for democratic and human rights reform in China.
Laogai Research Foundation Director Tienchi Martin-Liao said of Liu, “Liu Xiaobo is a symbolic figure for Chinese intellectuals. He has tried to awaken his countrymen and liberate them from the indoctrination of rigid Marxist and Maoist dogma. His sharp mind, clear thoughts, and willing pen are his weapons. His fight for freedom of expression in the last two decades has inspired many people, and has subsequently brought the wrath of Beijing down upon him.”
A long-time advocate of human rights and democracy, Liu Xiaobo was detained for nineteen months for his involvement with the Tiananmen Square protests. Additionally, Mr. Liu spent three years in the Laogai in the mid-1990’s for speaking out about the China-Taiwan relationship, and could face up to fifteen years imprisonment if convicted on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power.”
Background: Since the early 1950s, China has used the Laogai to crush dissent and root out potential sources of opposition, whether political, economic, or religious in nature, while simultaneously exploiting prisoners as a source of free labor.
The Laogai Research Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded by former political prisoner Harry Wu in 1992. Its mission is to gather information on and raise public awareness of the Laogai—China’s extensive system of forced-labor prison camps.
For further information, email email@example.com or call 202-408-8300.www.laogai.org 1109 M Street NW, Washington DC, 20005 firstname.lastname@example.org