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)
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid