SEARCH

Entries in Lio Xiaobo (1)

Friday
Dec102010

Washington Shows Support for Jailed Nobel Peace Prize Winner

The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony centered around the empty chair meant for this year's recipient, Liu Xiaobo, currently imprisoned in China. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. support for Nobel Peace Prize winner and jailed human rights activist Liu Xiaobo has flowed from the highest branches of office. President Obama said in a paper statement Friday, “Mr. Liu Xiaobo is far more deserving of this award than I was.”

The president added that the U.S. respects China’s ‘extraordinary’ accomplishment of lifting millions from poverty, and that human rights includes the dignity that comes with freedom from want.

“But,” Obama continued, “Mr. Liu reminds us that human dignity also depends upon the advance of democracy, open society, and the rule of law. The values he espouses are universal, his struggle is peaceful, and he should be released as soon as possible.”

Secretary of State Clinton’s statement echoed the call for Liu’s release, and urged China to again revisit its human rights policy.

“We urge China to uphold its international human rights obligations and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Chinese citizens,” said Clinton.

With Liu Xiaobo imprisoned and his wife Liu Xia under house arrest, no one travelled to Norway to accept the prize. Instead, an empty chair represented Liu’s absence in Oslo. The last time a representative of the winner was absent from the ceremony was in 1935, when Hitler prevented that year’s winner, Count Carl von Ossietzky, or anyone from Germany, from attending.

Representative Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., did attend Friday’s ceremony, in one of her last acts as speaker of the House. Pelosi has been a long-time advocate for human rights in China; in 1991 she unfurled a bilingual pro-democracy sign in Tiananmen Square, Beijing to mark the army’s killing of protestors two years earlier. In May 2009 -- more than a year and a half before he would be awarded the peace price -- she pushed for the release of Liu Xiaobo, in a letter presented to Chinese President Hu Jintao.

With Pelosi at the helm, the House of Representatives passed a resolution on Wednesday, congratulating Liu Xiaobo on the award of the Nobel Prize and calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio