In China, Nobel Peace laureate, human rights activist and dissident Liu Xiaobo died Thursday at the age of 61 as a prisoner at a hospital in China’s northeast. Liu was battling liver cancer that went largely untreated while he served an 11-year prison term for “subversion.” Liu was arrested in 2009 after he co-authored a petition calling for freedom of assembly, expression and religion in China. He previously spent 21 months in prison for taking part in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. In 2010, Liu won the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first Nobel Peace laureate since the 1930s who was unable to receive the prize in Oslo. His lengthy prison terms drew condemnation from world leaders and human rights groups, who say Chinese President Xi Jinping continues to imprison hundreds of activists for peaceful dissent. This is Liu Xiaobo, speaking with PEN America in 2008.
Liu Xiaobo: “We will not yield to the pressure, regardless of whether this pressure on freedom of writing comes from which direction, from the government or from other sources. Secondly, I want to make an appeal again to writers throughout the world, especially writers from free countries, as well as to governments and NGOs, to continue to pay attention to Chinese writers and to their conditions of writing, and thus help them obtain their freedom of writing.”
The Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, dead at the age of 61, dead in prison custody in China.