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

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

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 as 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, 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 when the prize went to the German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky in 1936. They, for instance, made it impossible for either the recipient or any appointed representative to travel to Oslo to receive 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 was later denied contact with friends and fellow activists and has been warned that her brother could go back to jail if she tries to make any such communication.

Hu, a fellow activist, said he is now unable to even 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," Hu said.

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


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