London, Dublin, 7 December 2012 – To mark the second anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to our colleague Liu Xiaobo, poet and former president of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre (ICPC), PEN International, in partnership with the Dublin-based human rights organisation Front Line Defenders, is launching an international campaign to call for his release.
Chinese poet and human rights defender Liu Xiaobo is serving an eleven-year prison sentence for his dissident writings and peaceful activism, the fourth year of which will be marked on 8 December 2012. PEN International and Front Line Defenders are gathering video recordings of writers around the world reading excerpts of Liu’s poetry, which have been uploaded at the campaign website and will form the basis for a series of actions and events starting on 8 December, when Liu Xiaobo’s story is featured in Voices from the Front Line.
“Liu Xiaobo is a symbol for all human rights defenders in China, and the imprisonment of him and his wife Liu Xia is unjust and cruel,” says Mary Lawlor, Executive Director of Front Line Defenders.
“The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize was presented to an Empty Chair,” said Marian Botsford Fraser, Writers in Prison Committee Chair, PEN International, “Laureate Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia have both been silenced by Chinese authorities, for the peaceful expression of ideas about democracy. They should be released.”
PEN Centres around the world are urged to stage public events starting in December and carrying on into 2013, as China transitions to new leadership, to express solidarity with Liu Xiaobo,and all writers currently detained in the P.R.China solely for peacefully expressing their views.
For the campaign website click here.
For further details of the campaign and how to take part click here
For details of previous PEN International campaigns calling of Liu Xiaobo’s release click here.
For further information contact Cathy McCann, PEN International Writers in Prison Committee, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Shapiro, email@example.com, +353-85-236-0262