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

    Ethiopia's Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?

    Yonatan Tesfaye was detained in December 2015 on charges under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; eleven statements from his Facebook page were used as evidence

    Egypt Orders Trial for Journalists Charged With Harboring Reporters

    Order targets journalists' union chief Yehia Qalash, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for allegedly spreading false news, harboring fugitive colleagues

    Nigerian Oil Production Falls as Militant Attacks Take Toll

    Country no longer Africa's petroleum king due to renewed militancy in its oil-producing region

    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.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora