We are thrilled that Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize today and hope his win will shine a spotlight on the struggle for fundamental freedoms and protection of human rights in China.
Liu, a 54-year-old scholar and author, who won the prize for his outstanding contribution to human rights, is currently serving an 11-year sentence on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” imposed after an unfair trial.
Amnesty International has long called for Liu’s release and is calling on the Chinese authorities to release him and all prisoners of conscience detained in the country immediately.
Liu is a prominent government critic who has repeatedly called for human rights protections, political accountability and democratization in China.
This award can only make a real difference if it prompts more international pressure on China to release Liu, along with the numerous other prisoners of conscience languishing in Chinese jails for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
As last year’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient, President Obama should publicly congratulate Liu to highlight the dire state of human rights in China and call upon Chinese President Hu Jintao to release Liu immediately and unconditionally. Former president of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate the Dalai Lama were among those who supported the nomination of Liu for the 2010 award.
Congratulations Liu Xiaobo! We hope your award will bring you one step closer to freedom.