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Six Years On, Jailed Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Family Faces Severe Hardship, Social Isolation

Six years after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo seems unlikely to be given a chance to 'seek medical parole' overseas like high-profile dissidents have done before him, a close associate told Radio Free Europe.

 


Liu Xiaobo, 60, is a Chinese literary critic, writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule. He is currently incarcerated as a political prisoner in Jinzhou prison in Liaoning.

 

During his prison term, Liu was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." The Chinese government’s response to the Peace Prize, however, has been even worse than that of Nazi Germany in 1936 when the prize went to the German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky. By making it impossible for either the recipient or any appointed representative to travel to Oslo, China’s response is the most shameful of any government in the entire 109–year history of the prize.

 

Since 2010 Liu's wife Liu Xia, has remained under strict house arrest and close police surveillance at the couple's home, she later denied contact with friends and fellow activists.\


Liu Xia has been warned that her brother could go back to jail if she has any contact with the outside world, including fellow rights activists, foreign diplomats or journalists, Hu said.

Hu said he is now unable even to have a shouted conversation with Liu Xia from outside her window, because Liu Hui is effectively being held hostage to ensure Liu Xia remains silent.

"Her cutting off of ties with [fellow activists] has now become a huge obstacle to our involvement and a lot of effort we could put in on her behalf," he said.

 

We at Endangered Scholars Worldwide call upon the Chinese government to release Liu Xiaobo, who is in prison only for his words, immediately; to embrace the universal values that are championed by the Nobel Peace Prize; and to begin political reform.

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