News / Asia

China Defends Imprisonment of Nobel Winner

The picture of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is carried by a protester demanding the release of Liu Xiaobo outside the China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, October 11, 2010.
The picture of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is carried by a protester demanding the release of Liu Xiaobo outside the China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, October 11, 2010.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
China has dismissed an appeal by a group of prominent Nobel laureates who want Beijing to free imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo.

The group of 134 Nobel laureates sent an open letter Tuesday to Communist Party chief Xi Jinping, asking him to "immediately and unconditionally release" Liu, who is serving an 11-year prison sentence for inciting subversion.

Official reaction

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told reporters Wednesday that the letter represents an interference in China's internal affairs.

"China is a law-abiding country. Liu Xiaobo was lawfully sentenced to a fixed-term imprisonment by the judicial organ because he committed an offense against Chinese law," he said. "The Chinese government opposes outsiders handling matters in any way that would interfere in its judicial sovereignty and internal matters."

When asked what specific law Liu violated, Hong refused to comment.

Chinese authorities sentenced the 56-year-old Liu to prison in 2009 on subversion charges related to his co-authoring of "Charter 08," a manifesto calling for political reforms and greater rights in Communist-ruled China.

After he won the Peace Prize in 2010, authorities placed his wife Liu Xia under house arrest before she could accept the prize in his place. She has not been publicly charged with a crime.

Letter to Xi Jinping

The letter, which was signed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, said the release of Liu and his wife would be an "essential first step" toward embracing the fundamental rights of Chinese citizens. The Nobel laureates warned that no government can restrict freedom of thought and association without hindering its development.

Many of those involved in the project were skeptical that Beijing would take any immediate action to improve Liu's situation. Emmanouil Athanasiou of the International Committee for Liu Xiaobo said that China cannot deny responsibility for holding a Nobel prize winner in detention.

"Whatever China says, today it's the only country in the world having a Nobel Peace Prize laureate behind bars. And this is an unacceptable situation. Legally, politically, and morally," said Athanasiou.

Nobel literature winner Mo Yan

Meanwhile, China's Nobel literature winner Mo Yan, who enjoys the support of the Communist Party, is headed Wednesday for Sweden to collect his award. Mo surprised some of his critics in October when he called for the release of Liu Xiaobo.

State media reported this week that Mo would be accompanied by a delegation of government officials on his trip to Stockholm, causing some to wonder whether Beijing feared he would make controversial remarks in his acceptance speech.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei expressed confidence in Mo on Wednesday, saying he "loves his country and his people" and that he hopes the trip to Sweden for the acceptance of the prize "goes smoothly."

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wangchuk from: NYC
December 07, 2012 10:50 AM
Free Liu Xiaobo and all political prisoners in China, Tibet & Xinjiang. Democracy & human rights for China. End the CCP one-party dictatorship and let the Chinese people govern China, not the elite corrupt CCP regime.


by: Anonymous
December 06, 2012 5:06 AM
democracy, reunification, freedom, civilization and nice China


by: Chin Yi from: USA
December 06, 2012 4:58 AM
" Hong Lei told reporters Wednesday that the letter represents an interference in China's internal affairs. " Communist dogs always use that word and they know only that word and express from their one side. What are the " Tibet Invading, South China Sea, and Map in Chinese PassPort? It's not relate to Internal affairs of somebody else?

In Response

by: Anonymous
December 07, 2012 12:05 AM
believe me ,it is.


by: Sun from: Taipei
December 06, 2012 3:55 AM
"Whatever China says, today it's the only country in the world having a Nobel Peace Prize laureate behind bars. And this is an unacceptable situation. Legally, politically, and morally," ---- I completely agree with this comment.


by: Trish Dawson from: Portland, OR
December 05, 2012 1:51 PM
Where is the political, social and economic progress of reform in this decision? Freedom of speech and the right to practice personal forms of religion are cornerstones of freedom and I still boycot all free trade with China as long as China refuses to free Tibetian citzens and political prisoners!


by: bt
December 05, 2012 10:17 AM
"China is a law-abiding country"
I used to live there for four years, believe me; it is NOT!

In Response

by: yy from: china
December 05, 2012 9:03 PM
u r wrong

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid