ACTION: Liu Xiaobo awarded Nobel Peace Prize
[ONGOING] The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, on 8 October, for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. He is also a long-term advocate of genuine autonomy for Tibet. Supporters are encouraged to write congratulatory letters to Liu Xiaobo who remains in prison.
China launches campaign against Liu Xiaobo
[18 October 2010] The Chinese government has launched a campaign against Liu Xiaobo aimed at a domestic Chinese audience, according to the South China Morning Post. Previously, its attacks have been limited to overseas versions of its media outlets. This is an indication of the concern the authorities have that news of the Nobel Peace Prize has spread across China.
An editorial in the People's Daily on 18 October said the "Nobel Peace Prize is an award that has been led astray politically". It criticised the Nobel Committee for awarding the Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo this year and to the Dalai Lama in 1989. It referred to Liu as "out-and-out offender engaged in criminal incitement to subvert state power for a long time" and the Dalai Lama as "a separatist bent on undermining ethnical unity and to split China". It claimed that, "What the two have been doing has nothing to do with any criteria of the award."
Since Liu Xiaobo's arrest, a number of dissidents and supporters of Liu have disappeared, inculding Ding Zilin, the head of the Tiananmen Mothers. Activist groups in China are reporting that supporters of Liu have been harassed by the police, taken into custody and had their websites hacked. Also Liu's wife, Liu Xia, has been placed under house arrest by the Chinese authorities.
On 14 October over 100 Chinese writers, lawyers and activists issued a letter urging the Chinese government to release the Nobel peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo and other political prisoners. Amongst the signatories was Woeser, a well-known Tibetan writer, poet and blogger.
Media reports: Guardian I AFP I South China Morning Post (log-in required) I
People's Daily editorial
Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo
[8 October 2010] The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. When announcing the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee president, Thorbjoern Jagland, said Liu Xiaobo was, "the foremost... symbol of the wide-ranging struggle for human rights in China" and went on to comment that despite China having freedoms enshrined in its constitution they have been "distinctly curtailed for many of China's citizens".
Liu Xiaobo has been a long-term advocate of the Dalai Lama's position on genuine autonomy for Tibet. He was the leading author of Charter 08, published on 10 December 2008 the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that called for multiparty democracy and respect for human rights in China. One year later, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in prison and two years' deprivation of political rights for "inciting subversion of state power".
The Dalai Lama congratulated Liu Xiaobo, saying, "Awarding the Peace Prize to him is the international community’s recognition of the increasing voices among the Chinese people in pushing China towards political, legal and constitutional reforms."
China have condemned the award, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu saying that Liu Xiaobo was a criminal and that "what he has done is contrary to the purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize." Ma was also quoted by Xinhua as saying the awarding of the prize could hurt China-Norway ties.
Full text of Nobel Peace Prize citation I Nobel Prize website
Dalai Lama statement I Human Rights Watch I International reaction (via BBC)
Media reports: BBC I NY Times I Xinhua
1. Please send letters of congratulations to Liu Xiaobo at the following address:
Nanshan Road 86
21013 Jinzhou City
People's Republic of China
Note: Though Liu Xiaobo may not get to see the letters, it is quite possible that he will receive word that the prison is receiving letters on his behalf. Former political prisoners have said that such knowledge gives them a tremendous source of strength and encouragement. Letters to a prison also send a signal to the authorities that their behaviour towards an individual prisoner is under scrutiny, which can result in better treatment for the prisoner and occasionally reduced sentences.
2. Post a congratulatory message on Liu Xiaobo's page on the Nobel Prize website (scroll to bottom of page for form to fill in).
Examples of Liu's writings
1. "Twelve Suggestions on Dealing with the Tibetan Situation" (2008)
Liu played a prominent role in writing and issuing this statement, along with Wang Lixiong.
2. "Woser's faith and Communist atheism" (2004)
Liu's essay on prominent Tibetan writer Woser (translation via Google).
3. "The Right of Self-government" (2000)
An essay supporting the Dalai Lama's position on Tibetan autonomy (translation via Google).
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