Thursday, 19 July, 2018

European Union chiefs urge China to free political prisoners after Xiaobo's death

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Lance Thomas | 14 July, 2017, 00:16

Wu Qiang, a supporter of Liu who had traveled to Shenyang with Zeng, the documentary filmmaker, said he admired Liu's resolve to bring about political change despite numerous setbacks.

"The Chinese government's arrogance, cruelty, and callousness are shocking - but Liu's struggle for a rights-respecting, democratic China will live on".

French Foreign Minister Jean-YvesLe Drian: "Despite long periods of detention and for more than 30 years, he never stopped defending, with courage, fundamental rights and freedom of speech".

"I call on the Chinese government to release Liu Xia from house arrest and allow her to depart China, according to her wishes", he said in a statement hours after the Nobel Laureate's death. "It is my belief that the initiatives he took, and for which he has been severely punished, would have led to a more harmonious, stable and prosperous China, which in turn would have contributed to a more peaceful world".

"The world grieves for you".

"He was known then as a rebel, the black horse of the literary scene", says Perry Link, a China scholar at Princeton and the University of California, Riverside who has translated Liu's works into English.

Tributes to Liu Xiaobo and criticism of China's actions poured in after news of his death. In 2008, he helped co-author Charter 08 and was arrested for the fourth time the following year. In response, Beijing determined he was guilty of "inciting subversion".

Charter 08 called for separation of powers, legislative democracy, an independent judiciary, a guarantee of human rights, freedom of association, assembly, expression and religion, and other democratic reforms.

Although numerous Charter 08 signers were interrogated, only Liu was arrested and charged with trying to overthrow the government.

- 2010 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE - The honor is bestowed on Liu in recognition of his peaceful struggle for human rights and democracy, although, imprisoned, he is unable to attend.

But the government warned repeatedly against interference and said Liu was being treated by renowned Chinese cancer experts.

The indictment document described Liu's crimes as "very great", accusing him of "using rumors and slander to overthrow the socialist system". Instead, Liu's absence at the prize-giving ceremony in Oslo, Norway, was marked by an empty chair. Xiaobo's demise came following a battle with liver-cancer.

He became the first Nobel Peace laureate to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who passed away in a hospital while held by the Nazis in 1938. He continued that Dr. Liu will "inspire millions" of activists to fight for a democratic China.

In an unprecedented move, the Chinese Foreign Ministry today removed questions related to Nobel Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo from the transcripts of its daily media briefings available on the official website. Bishop wrote on his blog Sinocism.

A protester displays a picture of jailed Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo's detained wife Liu Xia during a demonstration outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong, Thursday, July 13, 2017. Chinese authorities eventually allowed doctors from Germany and the United States to treat him.

In the weeks leading up to his death, Mr Liu's case became mired in global controversy.

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