October 9, 2010 |
Before he was anything else, a hunger striker or inmate, dissident or symbol, Liu Xiaobo was a bookish literature professor and an essayist desperate to be able to write about politics, art and life without restraint. His dedication to writing has been his defining characteristic, those who know him say, and it's what hauled him into politics ? an intense and dogged desire for the freedom of expression. Everything else, the years of struggle against the Communist Party and his unveiling as this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureate, flowed from that point.
December 10, 2010
In 1936, German journalist Carl von Ossietzky was under heavy pressure from the Nazis to turn down the Nobel Peace Prize; Hitler and his cronies saw the award as a slap in the face to the regime because Ossietzky had dedicated his career to exposing German rearmament and militarism. He rejected the government's contention that he was essentially excommunicating himself from German society by accepting the award, writing a letter from his hospital bed (where he was confined as a result of tuberculosis and the torture he had endured in prison)
December 10, 2010 |
Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident imprisoned for his efforts to promote democracy in his homeland, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia Friday in a solemn ceremony shunned by Beijing but attended by dignitaries and celebrities from most of the world's countries. A giant photo of Liu smiled out on the audience a few feet away from the potently symbolic empty chair where he would have sat had China allowed him to receive the award in Oslo, Norway. Liu, 54, is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence for "inciting subversion of state power" because he helped draft a manifesto known as Charter 08 calling for democratic reform.
December 30, 2009
ABeijing court last week convicted activist Liu Xiaobo of subversion and sentenced him to 11 years in prison for advocating freedom, democracy and rule of law. This week, the Chinese government executed Briton Akmal Shaikh for heroin trafficking, despite a plea for clemency by the British government on grounds that he was mentally ill. The two cases are unrelated, except insofar as they illustrate China's immunity to international appeals to respect human...
November 5, 2010 |
The notes from the Chinese Foreign Ministry to European ambassadors posted in Norway referred to the Nobel Peace Prize awarded last month to imprisoned writer Liu Xiaobo. "We strongly hope that your country ? will refrain from attending any activity directed against China," read the notes, according to a diplomatic source who ? like most people involved with the issue ? did not wish to be quoted by name because of fear of Chinese retaliation. Behind the stilted language, the meaning was clear: Beijing was lobbying European governments to not attend the Dec. 10 awards ceremony honoring Liu, a dissident whom Chinese officials have denounced as a criminal.
October 26, 2010 |
Increasing the pressure on China, a star-studded group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates have signed an open letter calling for the world's leading economies to lobby Chinese President Hu Jintao for the release of dissident writer Liu Xiaobo, recipient of this year's award. The letter released Monday by Liu's U.S. lawyers was written at the initiative of Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and signed by, among others, former Polish President Lech Walesa, former U.S. President Carter and the Dalai Lama ?