News / Asia

Jailed Chinese Democracy Advocate Liu Could Win Nobel Peace Prize

Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong hold pictures of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (file photo)
Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong hold pictures of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (file photo)

Nearly two years ago, on a December night, Chinese authorities whisked away Liu Xiaobo, a long-time dissident whose Charter 08 calling for democracy and human rights in China was about to be published.

Now he languishes in a Chinese prison serving an 11-year sentence for "inciting subversion of state power."

By Friday, the literature professor could also be the 2010 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his extended efforts to promote democracy in the world's most populous nation.

The communist Chinese government, however, is not pleased at the prospect of Liu winning the award.

One of its diplomats told Norway's Nobel Institute director Geir Lundestad last summer that China does not believe Liu is the kind of person that the Nobel committee should consider for the award because he violated Chinese laws. But a group of 29 members of the U.S. House of Representatives asked President Barack Obama this week to urge Chinese President Hu Jintao to release Liu when the two leaders meet next month.

A group of 300 scholars, lawyers, factory workers and others in China have called on the Nobel Peace Prize to hand the prestigious award to the 54-year-old Liu. He is believed to be a favorite and an Irish bookmaker is already paying bettors in advance who laid wagers on him winning the award.

The "subversion" Liu was convicted of was his seven-page call for a peaceful transformation from communist rule in China to a government based on the "universal human values" of freedom. It is a document that has been signed by thousands of Chinese.

He was first jailed for two years for supporting the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest and, later, another three years for his writings that questioned the role of China's single-party political system.

Liu's 11-year sentence is believed to be one of the longest handed down in China in a freedom of expression case. Human rights activists have deplored his imprisonment, with Amnesty International calling it a "stark reminder" that China does not tolerate free speech.

The highly educated Liu has been a visiting scholar at several universities outside of China, including Columbia University in New York and the University of Oslo. But it is Charter 08 that has given him world renown and left him imprisoned.

At his two-hour trial last December, Liu was prevented from reading a personal statement. It expressed his hope for China's future.

"I hope that I shall be the last victim of China's unending imprisonment of writers," he wrote, "and that no one else will be made a criminal for what they say."

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.


You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More