LIU Xiaobo, Nobel laureate and political prisoner, dies In Chinese custody

July 15th, 2017 | by Sukumar Roy
LIU Xiaobo, Nobel laureate and political prisoner, dies In Chinese custody


LIU Xiaobo, Chinese literary critic, writer, human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who called for political reforms and ending a single-party rule, has passed away. He died on July 13 of liver cancer after forced to live almost a quarter of his life behind bars in his motherland .He was jailed as a political prisoner in Jinzhou, Liaoning. He was imprisoned in 2009 on charges of subversion for demanding democracy in China. He was 61 and survived by his wife.

The Guardian says Liu, who championed non-violent resistance as a way of overcoming “forceful tyranny”, had been serving an 11-year jail sentence for demanding an end to one-party rule, when he was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer in May.

He died of multiple organ failure while under guard at a hospital in north-east China, making him the first Nobel peace prize winner to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, the 1935 recipient, who died under surveillance after years confined to Nazi concentration camps.Expressing sorrow,Rex W. Tillerson ,US Secretary of State has said he was deeply saddened to hear about the death of Liu Xiaobo, a courageous advocate who dedicated his life to the pursuit of democracy and liberty.  “My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Liu Xia, his family and friends, and the Chinese people.  A poet and scholar, Mr. Liu received the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize in honor of “his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”  An active participant in the peaceful Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, he later co-authored Charter 08, a public petition that called for freedom, equality, and constitutional rule in China. China has lost a deeply principled role model who deserved our respect and adulation, not the prison sentences to which he was subjected.  

“When he was sentenced, Liu told the court that he did not hate his jailors.  Instead, he said he hoped to rise above his own struggles “to counter the regime’s hostility with utmost goodwill, and to dispel hatred with love.”  As we mourn the loss and celebrate the life of this remarkable man, we call on China to release all prisoners of conscience and to respect the fundamental freedoms of all”.


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