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.
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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid