“The United States remains deeply concerned that China continues to incarcerate Liu Xiaobo and hold his wife, Liu Xia, in extralegal house arrest,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement honoring the Nobel Peace Prize laureate on the fifth anniversary of Liu’s conviction for “inciting subversion of state power.”
Liu Xiaobo was detained on December 8, 2008, for his participation in drafting and organizing signatures for Charter 08, a manifesto that advocates constitutional democracy in China. He was tried on December 23, 2009, and sentenced to prison for 11 years on December 25, 2009. Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize during his imprisonment.
“Liu Xiaobo is a courageous and eloquent spokesperson, recognized throughout the world for his long and non-violent advocacy for human rights and democracy in China,” Secretary Kerry said. “We reiterate our call on China to release Liu Xiaobo and to remove all restrictions on Liu Xia.”
“We also urge China to release all individuals detained for peacefully expressing their views,” he added. Secretary Kerry named several academics, lawyers, activists, and journalists - currently held in detention: Ilham Tohti and his students, Pu Zhiqiang, Gao Zhisheng, Yang Maodong, Gao Yu, and Xu Zhiyong. “We request that Chinese leaders guarantee them the protections and freedoms to which they are entitled under China's international human rights commitments.”
Secretary Kerry regularly raises human rights concerns in his conversations with senior Chinese officials.