10th October 2014
Nobel Peace Prize Laureates call for the release of Liu Xiaobo
H. E. Ban Ki – Moon Secretary General of the United Nations, New York, United States of America
H. E. Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Geneva, Switzerland
M. Herman Van Rompuy President of the European Council Brussels, Belgium
M. José Manuel Barroso President of the European Commission Brussels, Belgium
Mr. Martin Schulz President of the European Parliament Brussels, Belgium
Baroness Catherine Margaret Ashton High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
New York – Brussels – Geneva, October 09th 2014
We are writing to you to express our strong indignation regarding the continuous imprisonment of Dr. Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, in China. We also express our dismay that his wife, the artist and poet Liu Xia, has now been under an illegal house arrest for more than four years, and that her brother Liu Hui was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in prison on so-called economic crimes.
On December 25, 2009, the Chinese government sentenced Dr. Liu, a highly respected intellectual and famous dissident, to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion.” The charges were based on his political essays and co-authorship of “Charter 08,” which called for peaceful political reform in China based on the principles of human rights, freedom, and democracy.
Since his selection for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia have been denied access from the outside world. We have several times reiterated our call for their unconditional release. We have also called upon world leaders and international organizations to exercise pressure on the Chinese authorities to ensure that the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Prize Laureate is given his freedom. On December 4th, 2012, 135 Nobel Laureates, across all disciplines, wrote an open letter to the newly-appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, the Honorable Xi Jinping inviting him to recognize the challenges that China still faces regarding its human rights record and to take concrete steps towards embracing the fundamental rights of all Chinese citizens.
We still consider today that the essential first step towards progress in this field is the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia. Ahead of this year’s announcement of the next Laureate for the Nobel Peace Prize, we invite you personally to speak out against the continuous illegal imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo and the house arrest of Liu Xia and call publicly for their release. We remain confident that under the current circumstances, the world, the United Nations and the European Union cannot remain silent and leave without defense a Nobel Laureate, the civil society in China and the Chinese activists struggling for fundamental rights and universal principles.
We thank you for your attention and kind consideration on this important issue.
Ms. Mairead Maguire 1976 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Arch. Desmond Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Ms. Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Dr. Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
The cosignatory organizations:
- Human Rights Watch (HRW)
- Human Rights Foundation (HRF)
- Freedom Now
- Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
- French League for Human Rights (LDH)
- Christian Action for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT)
- China Solidarity
- Act for Human Rights (ADH)