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UN panel calls on China to release Liu Xiaobo PDF Print E-mail
[3 August 2011] The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has called for the immediate release of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo from prison in China. The Working Group also said the Chinese government should free Liu Xiaobo's wife, Liu Xia, from house arrest.

Liu XiaoboThe UN Working Group, made up of a panel of independent legal experts, has determined that the Chinese government failed to justify Liu Xiaobo's imprisonment and found fault with his detention and his trial, during which he had just 14 minutes to defend himself. They urged China to "take the necessary steps to remedy the situation". The panel also criticised Liu Xia's house arrest, saying she has the right to legal counsel and a fair trial.

The findings of the UN Working Group were released by Freedom Now, a US-based NGO that works to free prisoners of conscience. Freedom Now's press release said that, "In both cases [Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia], the UN Working Group found that the government violated Articles 9, 10, and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and called on the government to immediately release and adequately compensate Dr. Liu and Liu Xia."

Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."

Article 10 states "Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him."

Article 19 provides that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
Liu Xiaobo was detained in 2008, following the publication of Charter 08, a political manifesto that he co-authored, which calls for political change in China. He was sentenced to 11 years in jail in December 2009 for 'inciting the subversion of state power'. A year later, on 10 December 2010, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 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.

Further reading: BBC I Freedom Now I Tibet Society's actions on 10 Dec 2010

Tibet Society, the worlds first Tibet support group, was founded in 1959. Funded by its members, it has been working for over 50 years to seek justice for Tibet through parliamentary lobbying, campaigns and actions. Help keep Tibet alive by joining Tibet Society today. (Annual membership 24; Overseas 36; Life 500).

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