Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

China - 134 Nobel Laureates Urge Incoming Chinese President Xi Jinping to Release Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and Wife Liu Xia

Reporters Without Borders - Tue, 4 Dec 2012 17:42 GMT
Author: Reporters Without Borders
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

134 Nobel Laureates Urge Incoming Chinese President Xi Jinping toRelease Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and Wife Liu Xia Citizens Petition to Chinese Government Launched at Change.Org by Archbishop Tutu (Washington, D.C. - New York - Paris - London - Brussels - Geneva) Today, 134 Nobel Laureates across all six Nobel disciplines wrote to incoming Chinese President Xi Jinping, urginghim to immediately and unconditionally release Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia. Liu Xia has been under house arrest since shortly after the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced her husband's selection as the Peace Prize Laureate for 2010. The letter was released by the International Committee for Liu Xiaobo, which is comprised of six Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and 15 nongovernmental organizations. The Nobel Laureates wrote: Across all disciplines, the distinguishing feature which led to our recognition as Nobel Laureates is that we have embraced the power of our intellectual freedom and creative inspiration to do our part to advance the human condition. No government can restrict freedom of thought and association without having a negativeeffect on such important human innovation. Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu (Peace 1984) and Sir Richard Roberts (Physiology or Medicine1993) are leading this initiative with the support of Freedom Now, which serves as internationalcounsel to both Liu Xiaobo and his wife. The letter from Nobel Laureates sends a powerfulmessage to the Chinese government that releasing Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia will send a positivesignal about the new leadership's priorities and that their ongoing detention hinders China'sdevelopment and damages its international stature: "I hope that the Chinese authorities appreciate the diversity of extraordinary achievementrepresented by the Nobel Laureates who have written to them today," said Archbishop Tutu. "Oureffort is not to embarrass China but rather to implore the government to take a different approachthat would help China develop in the best way for all its people," he noted. "By releasing LiuXiaobo and Liu Xia, China can demonstrate its strength and show that it is not fearful of those who seek dialogue about the most effective ways to reform its government," added Richard Roberts. In addition to launching this letter today, Archbishop Tutu, on behalf of his fellow Laureates,launched a global citizen petition drive to the incoming Chinese President urging Liu Xiaobo andLiu Xia's immediate release. For further information, please contact: Jared Genser, Freedom Now and International Counsel to Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia (English), +1-202-320-4135 Yang Jianli, Initiatives for China (Mandarin, English):, +1-857-472-9039 Marie Holzman, China Solidarity (French, Mandarin):, +33-630-809-281 Thor Halvorssen, Human Rights Foundation (Spanish, English), +1-212-664-8464 Alain Bouc, Human Rights League (French):, +33 1 42 57 34 66 Christine Laroque, ACAT-France (French, English):, +33-140-4074-09 And Emmanouil Athanasiou, International Committee for Liu Xiaobo Secretariat (French, English,Greek):, + 33-685-735-495 The International Committee for Liu Xiaobo is composed of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Ms. Tawakkol Karman, Ms. MaireadMaguire, Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, Ms. Betty Williams, and Ms. Jody Williams as well as the following non-governmental organizations:Christian Action for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT), Act for Human Rights (ADH), Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development(CCFD- Terre Solidaire), China Solidarity, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Initiatives for China/Citizen Power for China, InternationalCampaign for Tibet (ICT), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Freedom Now, Human Rights Foundation (HRF), Human RightsLeague (LDH), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Global Justice Center (GJC), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Together Against the Death Penalty(ECPM). Until his passing, former Czech Republic President Václav Havel served on the Committee as well. December 4, 2012 The Honorable Xi JinpingGeneral Secretary of the Communist Party of ChinaZhongnanhai, Xichengqu, Beijing CityPeople's Republic of China Dear Mr. Xi, As you have taken the first step towards assuming the presidency of the People's Republic of China, we write to welcome the prospect of fresh leadership and new ideas. To that end, we respectfully urge you to release Dr. Liu Xiaobo, the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and his wife, Liu Xia. On December 25, 2009, your government sentenced Dr. Liu, a highly respected intellectual anddemocracy advocate, to 11 years in prison for "inciting subversion." The charges were based on hispolitical essays and co-authorship of "Charter 08," which called for peaceful political reform in Chinabased on the principles of human rights, freedom, and democracy. Shortly after the Norwegian NobelCommittee awarded Dr. Liu its Peace Prize, the government placed Liu Xia under house arrest, where she remains cut off from the outside world two years later without charge or the benefit of any legal process. In response to the continued detentions of Dr. Liu and Liu Xia, the United Nations Working Group onArbitrary Detention, an independent and impartial body of experts, issued Opinions No. 15-16/2011,finding their detentions to be in violation of international law; however, despite this finding their casesremain unresolved. Across all disciplines, the distinguishing feature which led to our recognition as Nobel Laureates is that we have embraced the power of our intellectual freedom and creative inspiration to do our part to advance the human condition. No government can restrict freedom of thought and association without having a negative effect on such important human innovation. Indeed, we Laureates are distressed that your government continues to block access to the main Nobel Prize web site ( former Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States in 2011, he recognized that "a lot still needs to be done in China on human rights." While we welcome such honest assessments, we hope that China's new political leadership will move past merely recognizing the problem and seize this important opportunity to take concrete steps towards embracing the fundamental rights of all Chinese citizens. An essential first step is the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia. Sincerely, 134 Nobel Prize Laureates( Name, Category, Prize Year )Peter Agre Chemistry 2003Thomas R. Cech Chemistry 1989Martin Chalfie Chemistry 2008Aaron Ciechanover Chemistry 2004Paul J. Crutzen Chemistry 1995Robert F. Curl Jr. Chemistry 1996Johann Deisenhofer Chemistry 19882 of 4Richard R. Ernst Chemistry 1991Gerhard Ertl Chemistry 2007Walter Gilbert Chemistry 1980Robert H. Grubbs Chemistry 2005Dudley R. Herschbach Chemistry 1986Avram Hershko Chemistry 2004Roald Hoffmann Chemistry 1981Robert Huber Chemistry 1988Roger D. Kornberg Chemistry 2006Sir Harold Kroto Chemistry 1996Yuan T. Lee Chemistry 1986Mario J. Molina Chemistry 1995Kary B. Mullis Chemistry 1993John C. Polanyi Chemistry 1986Venkatraman Ramakrishnan Chemistry 2009Richard R. Schrock Chemistry 2005Jens C. Skou Chemistry 1997Thomas A. Steitz Chemistry 2009Roger Y. Tsien Chemistry 2008Sir John E. Walker Chemistry 1997Kurt Wuthrich Chemistry 2002Ada E. Yonath Chemistry 2009Kenneth J. Arrow Economics 1972Peter A. Diamond Economics 2010Daniel Kahneman Economics 2002Finn E. Kydland Economics 2004Robert E. Lucas Jr. Economics 1995Harry M. Markowitz Economics 1990Eric S. Maskin Economics 2007Daniel L. McFadden Economics 2000James A. Mirrlees Economics 1996Dale T. Mortensen Economics 2010Roger B. Myerson Economics 2007Douglass C. North Economics 1993Thomas J. Sargent Economics 2011Thomas C. Schelling Economics 2005Vernon L. Smith Economics 2002Oliver E. Williamson Economics 2009J. M. Coetzee Literature 2003Gunter Grass Literature 1999Elfriede Jelinek Literature 2004Toni Morrison Literature 1993Herta Muller Literature 2009Tomas Transtromer Literature 20113 of 4Mario Vargas Llosa Literature 2010David Baltimore Medicine 1975Francoise Barre-Sinoussi Medicine 2008J. Michael Bishop Medicine 1989Gunter Blobel Medicine 1999Sydney Brenner Medicine 2002Linda B. Buck Medicine 2004Sir Martin J. Evans Medicine 2007Andrew Z. Fire Medicine 2006Edmond H. Fischer Medicine 1992Alfred G. Gilman Medicine 1994Paul Greengard Medicine 2000Carol W. Greider Medicine 2009Roger Guillemin Medicine 1977Sir John B. Gurdon Medicine 2012Leland H. Hartwell Medicine 2001Harald zur Hausen Medicine 2008H. Robert Horvitz Medicine 2002David H. Hubel Medicine 1981Tim Hunt Medicine 2001Louis J. Ignarro Medicine 1998Eric R. Kandel Medicine 2000Rita Levi-Montalcini Medicine 1986Craig C. Mello Medicine 2006Joseph E. Murray Medicine 1990Erwin Neher Medicine 1991Sir Paul Nurse Medicine 2001Christiane Nusslein-Volhard Medicine 1995Stanley B. Prusiner Medicine 1997Sir Richard J. Roberts Medicine 1993Hamilton O. Smith Medicine 1978John E. Sulston Medicine 2002Jack W. Szostak Medicine 2009E. Donnall Thomas Medicine 1990J. Robin Warren Medicine 2005Eric F. Wieschaus Medicine 1995Torsten N. Wiesel Medicine 1981Amnesty International Peace 1977Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo Peace 1996Mairead Maguire Peace 1976Shirin Ebadi Peace 2003Leymah Roberta Gbowee Peace 2011Tawakkul Karman Peace 2011The 14th Dalai Lama Peace 19894 of 4Jose Ramos-Horta Peace 1996Desmond Tutu Peace 1984Elie Wiesel Peace 1986Betty Williams Peace 1976Jody Williams Peace 1997Zhores I. Alferov Physics 2000Leon N. Cooper Physics 1972James Cronin Physics 1980Jerome I. Friedman Physics 1990Andre Geim Physics 2010Riccardo Giacconi Physics 2002Donald A. Glaser Physics 1960Sheldon Glashow Physics 1979Roy J. Glauber Physics 2005David J. Gross Physics 2004John L. Hall Physics 2005Serge Haroche Physics 2012Antony Hewish Physics 1974Gerardus 't Hooft Physics 1999Brian D. Josephson Physics 1973Charles K. Kao Physics 2009Wolfgang Ketterle Physics 2001Klaus von Klitzing Physics 1985Leon M. Lederman Physics 1988Anthony J. Leggett Physics 2003John C. Mather Physics 2006Douglas D. Osheroff Physics 1996William D. Phillips Physics 1997H. David Politzer Physics 2004Robert C. Richardson Physics 1996Adam G. Riess Physics 2011Heinrich Rohrer Physics 1986Brian P. Schmidt Physics 2011Jack Steinberger Physics 1988Joseph H. Taylor Jr. Physics 1993Charles H. Townes Physics 1964Steven Weinberg Physics 1979Frank Wilczek Physics 2004Robert Woodrow Wilson Physics 1978

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus