Prisoners of Conscience
Prominent Chinese scholar and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo was charged with "inciting subversion of state power." His wife, Liu Xia, a poet and artist, is under illegal house arrest in Beijing.
Liu Xiaobo and Lia Xia are human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience. He was given an 11-year prison sentence on December 25, 2009 simply for co-authoring a proposal for political and legal reform in China.
At the completion of the prison sentence, Liu Xiaobo will also be deprived of political rights for two years. The Beijing Municipal Higher People’s Court upheld the appeal of the prison sentence on February 11, 2010. Urge Chinese authorities to release Liu Xiaobo immediately and unconditionally.
Liu Xiaobo was sentenced after a two-hour trial, because of six articles that he wrote, which were distributed on websites hosted outside mainland China between 2005 and 2007, and also because of his role in writing Charter 08, soliciting signatures for the charter, and publishing it online.
Charter 08 calls for protection of universal human rights and democratic reform. The Court considered it "slanderous" and an attempt to incite the subversion of the current regime. In the six articles, Liu Xiaobo criticized corruption, censorship and one-party rule and advocated developing a democratic multi-party political system. The Court considered this "rumor mongering, slander and smear" which exceeded the limits of freedom of expression, constituting a criminal offense.
Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 8, 2010 for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. He was informed the following day by prison guards.
His wife, Liu Xia, has been under illegal "house arrest" following the Nobel announcement. Her phone lines and email have been disconnected. She has been denied the freedom to travel, to shop for herself, to visit family and friends, or to exchange letters with her husband. Liu Xia’s situation is becoming even more critical due to exacerbating health concerns and a ban from seeking necessary medical treatment abroad.”