For Immediate Release: Chinese Government Should Free Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo
October 8, 2010, Washington, DC--The Laogai Research Foundation applauds the Nobel Committee on awarding this year's Nobel Peace Prize to the renowned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Nearly two years after he was detained for co-authoring Charter 08, which called for democracy and human rights in China, Mr. Liu remains in prison. We urge the Chinese government to release Mr. Liu and allow him to travel to Oslo to accept his Peace Prize on December 10 of this year, which is, fittingly, International Human Rights Day and the two-year anniversary of Charter 08.
The first Chinese citizen to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Liu Xiaobo has for decades fought tirelessly for human rights and democratic change in China. Liu was sentenced to eleven years imprisonment on December 25, 2009, following a short trial held behind closed doors on December 23. His "crime" was his involvement in Charter 08 and political writings posted on the internet. The verdict has been widely condemned by the international community, as well as dissidents within China.
Harry Wu, former political prisoner and founder of Laogai Research Foundation, said of the decision, "the Nobel Committee has sent a clear message to China that it will not be intimidated by its economic and political might." He added, "for decades, Liu Xiaobo has advocated for freedom. It's time that the Chinese government releases him from prison and listens to his suggestions."
Last year, Laogai Research Foundation launched a Twitter campaign to free Liu Xiaobo, which now has over 700 followers. Today we are re-launching this campaign to demand Liu's immediate release so that he may travel to Oslo and accept his award in person. Supporters of the campaign can follow @freeliuxiaobo.
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.