The critic, writer, political activist and Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo remains imprisoned in China since his arrest in 2009; Liu Xiaobo is serving an 11 year prison sentence. At the time of his arrest, he was calling for peaceful political reform, greater human rights and multi-party democracy in China.
On 8 October, 2010 he was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his continued, non-violent struggle for freedom of expression and human rights. In prison and unable to collect the prize, he was represented by an Empty Chair at the award ceremony in Oslo in December 2010. His wife Liu Xia was placed under strict house arrest in the days following the announcement. Two years later, she remains held incommunicado at her home in Beijing. No charges have been brought against her.
This year the Nobel Committee awarded the prize in Literature to Chinese writer Mo Yan. This is another indication of the richness of Chinese culture as three great Chinese writers have received Nobel Prizes over the last 12 years – Gao Xingjian, Liu Xiaobo and now Mo Yan. We congratulate Mo Yan.
Since winning the Nobel prize for literature, Chinese novelist Mo Yan has called for Liu Xiaobo to be freed “ in good health and as soon as possible”.
We join Mo Yan in his call for the release of the former president of the ICPC, Liu Xiaobo. Freedom of expression and literature are inseperable in the long run. The government of China has every reason to embrace both.