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July 13, 2017

Statement on Liu Xiaobo

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today mourned the death of Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese patriot, poet, steadfast human rights defender, and winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Liu is the first Nobel laureate to die in detention since 1938. 

“The world has lost a great champion for human dignity and universal values,” said Human Rights First’s Rob Berschinski. “Liu Xiaobo’s courage and vision for a better future for the people of China will serve as an inspiration, both in China and around the world for generations to come.”

Liu was imprisoned until shortly before his death under charges of "inciting subversion of state power" for statements he made calling for political reforms and human rights in China. His most famous work, “Charter 08,” makes clear that the Chinese people deserve to live with the same rights and protections as men and women anywhere in the world. He will be forever remembered for his calls for peaceful change, and his solemn, steadfast commitment to the universal truth that “Opposition is not equivalent to subversion."

Many human rights activists, including lawyers, intellectuals, and social activists remain in detention in China. Human Rights First calls on the government of China to uphold universal values of human rights and release all prisoners held for the expression of their beliefs, and to respect freedom of expression for all people in China.

For more information or to speak with Berschinski contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.