8 October 2010
ICPC Statement on Dr. Liu Xiaobo Awarded to the Nobel Peace Prize
Independent Chinese PEN Centre (ICPC) is extremely happy to have heard today that Dr. Liu Xiaobo, its Honorary President, is awarded to the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010, and expresses our heartfelt congratulations, and sincere thanks to all of those in China and overseas who have called, promoted and supported him for the prize and who have been concerned about his conviction and sentencing for his words.
Liu Xiaobo is a prominent writer, literary critic and human rights activist. Since 1980s, he has been engaged in promoting freedom to write, human rights and democracy in China. Over the last 20 years, he has always upheld his rational and peaceful stand to speak against the autocracy but for the civilians, and been committed to the campaigns to broaden freedom of expression in China and open up the spaces for the civil society and constitutional reform there, with no fear about imprisonment, surveillance, harassment and suppression. He has challenged the modern literary inquisition and so been imprisoned several times without regrets for his conviction for his words. In 1989, he was detained for one and half year for his support to the students-led peaceful protests though more sacrifices from the violent crackdown were avoided on TianAnMen Square in Beijing; in 1996, he was sentenced to three years Re-education Through Labour for his opposition to the China’s military threat against Taiwan and calling for peaceful negotiations across the Taiwan Strait; In 2001, he was one of the co-founders of ICPC, the first association of independent writers with its basic aims at defending freedom of expression and being committed to the assistance for the writers convicted for their words under Communist Party’s rule. He was elected ICPC president in 2003-2007 and its Board member until his arrest on 8 December 2008, the eve of 60th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights for his participation in launching Charter 08 advocating a peaceful campaign for constitutional democracy in China, and then given a heavy sentences of eleven years in prison the following year. Upholding freedom to confront autocracy, equality to challenge privilege, brotherhood to oppose hatred, and peace to resist violence, Liu Xiaobo has reached the state that “great love has no borders” and that “the benevolent has no enemies”, and become a model for the people as well as the pride of PEN.
His persistent, indomitable non-violent struggle has won the recognition and support from various people in China to International PEN on behalf of tens of thousands of writers worldwide, including the president of PEN American Center Professor Appiah and other internationally renowned writers, former Czech President Vaclav Havel and other democratic/human rights activists and politicians, Nobel Peace Prize laureates the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and others. As many as hundreds of those individuals nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Therefore, awarding him today is not only the popular sentiments and everyone’s will but also enhances the reputation and glory of Nobel Peace Prize. After Carl von Ossietzky, German pacifist writer, was awarded in 1936 to the prize for 1935, Liu Xiaobo has become the second laureate in prison while being awarded a Nobel Prize in its history of 110 years. ICPC is sharing the happiness and celebration with all of our colleagues of International PEN and others who have supported the nomination, and stand in solidarity together with Liu Xiaobo as always to promote the cause of liberalization and democratization in China.
At the same time, ICPC urges Chinese authorities to be aware of the trend of world civilization, not as what Hitler did after Carl von Ossietzky got the prize but rather the opposite, to immediately and unconditionally release Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, release PEN members Yang Tongyan, Shi Tao, Du Daobin and all of those imprisoned due to the conviction for their words, and release all of the prisoners of conscience for their peaceful
exercise of basic civil rights.
International PEN is the oldest human rights organization and international literary organization. The Independent Chinese PEN Center is among its 145 member centers and aims to protect writers’ freedom of expression and freedom to write worldwide and advocates for the rights of writers and journalists who are imprisoned, threatened, persecuted or harassed in China particularly.
For more information, contact
Tienchi Liao, President, +49 176 5472 3721
Dr. Yu Zhang, Executive Secretary and WiPC Coordinator
Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC)
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Websites: http://www.chinesepen.org and http://www.liuxiaobo.eu/
http://www.chinesepen.org and http://www.liuxiaobo.eu/。