China: Free Liu Xiaobo and grant him all necessary medical care

In a letter to the Chinese President Xi Jinping, Norwegian PEN urges the Chinese authorities to release Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia, and provide Xiaobo with all necessary medical care.

President Xi Jinping
c/o Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, Oslo, Norway

Oslo, 28 June 2017

Dear President Xi Jinping,

Chinese poet and human rights defender Liu Xiaobo was arrested on 8 December 2008 and sentenced to 11 years in prison for his dissident writings and peaceful activism. His imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power” related to his part as the leading author behind “Charter ‘08”, a manifesto calling for protection of universal human rights and democratic reform in China.

In October 2010, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his continued and non-violent struggle for human rights in China. In prison and unable to attend the award ceremony in Oslo, he was represented by an empty chair.

Norwegian PEN is grateful for Liu Xiao´s temporary release from prison, but saddened by the fact that he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  In spite of his “temporary release” he is still being guarded by the authorities and his wife is still in house arrest.

We hereby urge the Chinese authorities to allow Liu Xiaobo to travel and seek medical treatment outside China if he so wishes.

We also urge the Chinese authorities to release his wife, Liu Xia, from her house arrest in order for her to be with her husband at this critical time in their lives.

Sincerely yours,

William Nygaard
Norwegian PEN