Tibetans and Supporters Stand in Solidarity with Liu Xiaobo

TIBETANS AND SUPPORTERS STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH LIU XIAOBO AND ALL PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE DETAINED BY CHINA

Press Release, 8 December 2010

Oslo, Norway: On 10 December, Tibetans and supporters around the world will take part in celebrations with Chinese human rights defenders to express their support for Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.“This honour for Liu Xiaobo is an honour for all prisoners of conscience, including hundreds of Tibetans, persecuted by China for exercising freedom of speech,” said Chungdak Koren  Director of the Norwegian Tibet Committee, part of the International Tibet Network. “We join Tibet Groups around the world in saluting Liu Xiaobo’s courage and integrity, and stand today with the people of China to celebrate this tribute to a man who has worked tirelessly for their right to freedom of expression.”

The voices calling for reform in China are getting louder and stronger with more and more Chinese and  Tibetan  advocates risking their lives to promote the freedom they desire.  Thousands of prisoners – Chinese as well as Tibetans – continue to be held behind bars, serving long sentences for speaking out and voicing their opinions . Before Liu was sentenced in 2009 he said in his ‘Final Statement’, “Freedom of expression is the basis of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truth. To block freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, to strangle humanity and to suppress the truth.”

“By awarding this prize to Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Committee has illuminated the human and political rights of the people in China and Tibet and created a sense of hope,” said Wenche Thingnes, Vice Chairwomen of the Norwegian Tibet Committee. “We now expect governments around the world to follow the Committee’s moral leadership, to press China’s leaders to release Liu Xiaobo and all the heroic Chinese and Tibetan human rights defenders that remain in prison, and urge them to take meaningful steps to implement the political and human rights reforms that these brave advocates are risking their lives to promote.”

Norwegian Tibet Committee appreciate the symbolism and poignancy of the empty chair at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on 10 December, since neither Liu Xiaobo nor any close family members are able to collect the award. We look forward to the day when Liu, and thousands of others currently detained by China, can take their chairs and freely express their views to the world without reprisal.

Contact: Chungdak Koren
Mobile: +47 95024443

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