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Anniversary of Liu Xiaobo's Detention

Supporters of the jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo raise the picture of him and his wife Liu Xia. (file)

“December 8th, 2013 marked the fifth anniversary of Nobel laureate and writer Liu Xiaobo’s detention.

“[December 8th, 2013] marked the fifth anniversary of Nobel laureate and writer Liu Xiaobo’s detention,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry noted in a statement recently issued in Washington, D.C.

Anniversary of Liu Xiaobo's Detention
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“The United States,” he said, “is deeply concerned that Chinese authorities continue to imprison Liu Xiaobo, as well as other activists, such as Xu Zhiyong, for peacefully exercising their universal right to freedom of expression. Equally concerning is the nearly three-year politically motivated house arrest of Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia.”

Liu Xiaobo was detained on December 8th, 2008 after participating in writing “Charter 08,” a manifesto calling for constitutional democracy and greater human rights in China. He was tried on charges of "inciting subversion of state power," and sentenced to eleven years of imprisonment. Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, for, as the Nobel Peace Committee said, "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."

“We note that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has determined Liu Xiaobo’s ongoing imprisonment and Liu Xia’s house arrest to be in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Secretary Kerry continued. “We strongly urge Chinese authorities to release Liu Xiaobo, to end Liu Xia’s house arrest, and to guarantee to Liu Xiaobo and his family members all internationally recognized human rights protections and freedoms.”

“As the United States builds a constructive relationship with China, U.S. leaders will continue to raise concerns related to respect for the rule of law, human rights, religious freedom, and democratic principles with their Chinese counterparts,” Secretary Kerry said. “We continue to believe that respect for international human rights is critical to China’s growth, prosperity, and long-term stability.”