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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs