|Died||13 July 2017 (aged 61)|
|Cause of death||Multiple organ failure complicated from liver cancer|
|Alma mater||Jilin University|
Beijing Normal University
|Occupation||Writer, political commentator, human rights activist|
(m. 1996; his death 2017)
|Awards||2010 Nobel Peace Prize|
He has been President of the Independent Chinese PEN Center since 2003. On 8 December 2008, police stopped Liu and held him because of his work with Charter 08. He was not actually arrested until 23 June 2009. The government accused him of encouraging people to turn against the state. He had a trial on 23 December 2009. On 25 December 2009, the court decided he must go to prison for eleven years. The court also took away his political rights for two years.
He is the first Chinese person to win a Nobel Prize while living in China. He is also the third person to win the Nobel Peace Prize while in prison or detention. The others were Germany's Carl von Ossietzky in 1935 and Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991.
Early life and education[change | change source]
Liu was born in 1955 in Changchun, Jilin to an intellectual family. His father took him to the Inner Mongolia from 1969 to 1973 during the Down to the Countryside Movement. He worked in a village in Jilin province when he was 19 years old. He worked at a construction company after that.
In 1976, he studied at Jilin University and got a B.A. degree in literature in 1982. He earned an M.A. degree in 1984 from Beijing Normal University. Liu joined the faculty at Beijing Normal University after he graduated. He also received a Ph.D. degree there in 1988.
In the 1980s, his most important essays, Critique on Choices - Dialogue with Le Zehou and Aesthetics and Human Freedom' earned him fame in the academic field. The essay criticised a prominent Chinese thinker Li Zehou's philosophy.
During the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests he was in the United States but decided to go back to China to join the movement. He was later named as one of the "Four Junzis of Tiananman Square" by many Hong Kong- and Taiwan-based Chinese media.
Human rights activities[change | change source]
Liu Xiaobo works to increase human rights. He has asked the Chinese government to be more open and honest about its actions. The Chinese government has brought him to police stations, arrested him, and sent him to prison many times for his peaceful political activities. The first time was for his actions in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Organizations outside China have noticed Liu's human rights work and given him awards. In 2004, Reporters Without Borders honored Liu's human rights work, awarding him the Fondation de France Prize as a defender of press freedom.
Time in prison[change | change source]
In January 1991, Liu Xiaobo was convicted of "counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement." However, the government did not give him any punishment as a criminal. In October 1996, he was ordered to serve three years of labour for "disturbing public order" by criticizing the Communist Party of China. In 2007, police took Liu for a short time and asked him about articles he had written. The articles were posted on websites hosted outside China.
|Time in prison||Reason||Result|
|June 1989 – January 1991||Charged with spreading messages to start actions that could become a revolution.||Imprisoned in one of China's maximum security prisons, Qincheng Prison, and let go when he signed a "letter of repentance."|
|May 1995 – January 1996||Being involved in democracy and human rights movement and speaking publicly about the need to correct government mistakes in the student protest of 1989||Released after being jailed for six months.|
|October 1996 – October 1999||Charged with disturbing the social order||Jailed in a labor education camp for three years. In 1996, he married Liu Xia.|
|December 2009–2020||Charged with spreading a message to overturn the country and authority||Sentenced for 11 years and deprived of all political rights for two years. Currently imprisoned in Jinzhou Prison in Liaoning Province.|
Charter 08[change | change source]
Writing the Charter and making it well-known[change | change source]
Liu Xiaobo actively participated in the writing of Charter 08. Then, along with more than three hundred Chinese citizens, he signed Charter 08. This was a manifesto, or statement of beliefs and principles. It was released on the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10 December 2008). They wrote it in the style of the Czechoslovak Charter 77 calling for greater freedom of expression, human rights, and free elections. As of May 2009, the Charter has collected over 8,600 signatures from Chinese of various walks of life.
Arrest[change | change source]
Police took Liu Xiaobo away from his home late in the evening of 8 December 2008. This was two days before the official release of the Charter. Police also took away Zhang Zuhua at that time. He is another scholar who signed Charter 08. According to Zhang, the two men were taken by police because they thought Liu and Zhang were trying to get more people to sign the Charter. While Liu was kept alone in solitary confinement, he was not allowed to meet with his lawyer or family. He was allowed to eat lunch with his wife, Liu Xia, and two policemen on New Year's Day 2009. On 23 June 2009, an officer of the government in Beijing (the procuratorate) approved Liu Xiaobo's arrest on charges of "suspicion of inciting subversion of state power." This is a crime under Article 105 of the Law of the People's Republic of China. The Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) said in a press release that Liu had incited the subversion of state power and the overturn of the socialist system through methods such as spreading rumors and slander, using almost the exact words of Article 105. The Beijing PSB also said that Liu had "fully confessed."
Trial[change | change source]
On 1 December 2009, Beijing police transferred Liu's case to the procuratorate for investigation and processing; on 10 December, the procuratorate formally indicted Liu on charges of "inciting subversion of state power" and sent his lawyers, Shang Baojun and Ding Xikui, the indictment document. He was tried at Beijing No. 1 Intermediate Court on 23 December 2009. His wife was not permitted to watch the trial, but his brother-in-law was there. Diplomats from more than 12 countries – including the U.S., Britain, Canada, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand – were not allowed in the court. They could not watch the trial. Some diplomats stood outside the court during the whole trial. Gregory May, political officer at the U.S. Embassy, and Nicholas Weeks, first secretary of the Swedish Embassy were among the diplomats who waited outside.
Sentence and imprisonment[change | change source]
On 25 December, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to eleven years' imprisonment and two years' deprivation of political rights by the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court on charges of "inciting subversion of state power." According to Liu's family and counsel, he plans to fight this and ask for a new trial. The court said that Charter 08 was part of the evidence supporting his conviction.
China's political reform [...] should be gradual, peaceful, orderly and controllable and should be interactive, from above to below and from below to above. This way causes the least cost and leads to the most effective result. I know the basic principles of political change, that orderly and controllable social change is better than one which is chaotic and out of control. The order of a bad government is better than the chaos of anarchy. So I oppose systems of government that are dictatorships or monopolies. This is not 'inciting subversion of state power'. Opposition is not equivalent to subversion.— Liu Xiaobo, Guilty of 'crime of speaking', 9 February 2010
International response[change | change source]
Many individuals, states, and organizations around the world asked the Chinese government to release Liu. The Chinese government said no and told people outside China not to become involved.
On 11 December 2008, the United States Department of State called for Liu's release. On 22 December 2008, an organization of scholars, writers, lawyers, and human rights workers wrote an open letter to ask the government to let Liu out of prison. On 21 January 2009, 300 international writers, including Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Ha Jin and Jung Chang, called for Liu's release in a statement put out through PEN. In March 2009 Liu Xiaobo was awarded with the Homo Homini Award by the One World Film Festival, organized by the People in Need foundation, for promoting freedom of speech, democratic principles and human rights.
Before the court decision, China said that other nations should "respect China's judicial sovereignty and to not do things that will interfere in China's internal affairs."
Responding to the result in court, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay expressed concern political rights in China becoming worse. German Chancellor Angela Merkel strongly criticized the verdict, stating "despite the great progress in other areas in the expression of views, I regret that the Chinese government still massively restricts press freedom." Canada and Switzerland also condemned the verdict. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou called on Beijing to "tolerate dissent". On 6 January 2010, former Czech president Václav Havel joined with other communist-era dissidents at the Chinese embassy in Prague to present a petition calling for Liu's release. On 22 January 2010, European Association for Chinese Studies sent an open letter to Hu Jintao on behalf of over 800 scholars from 36 countries calling for Liu's release.
Nobel Peace Prize[change | change source]
Events leading up to the prize[change | change source]
On 18 January 2010, Liu was named by many people as a nominee (possible winner) of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. These included Václav Havel, the 14th Dalai Lama, André Glucksmann, Vartan Gregorian, and Desmond Tutu. China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu said that awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu would be "totally wrong". Geir Lundestad, a secretary of the Nobel Committee, stated the award would not be influenced by Beijing's opposition. On 25 September 2010, The New York Times reported that a petition in support of the Nobel nomination was being circulated in China.
In September 2010 Václav Havel, Dana Němcová, and Václav Malý published an open letter in The International Herald Tribune calling for the award to be given to Liu. All three had been leaders of Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution. Soon after, people began signing a petition.
Freedom Now is a non-governmental organization and works as a lawyer for Liu Xiaobo outside China. On 6 October 2010, they publicly released a letter from 30 U.S. Members of Congress to President Barack Obama (the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner). This letter strongly asked President Obama to talk directly to Chinese President Hu Jintao at the G-20 Summit in November 2010. They wanted Obama to talk about Liu Xiaobo and another political prisoner named Gao Zhisheng .
Prize announcement[change | change source]
On 8 October 2010 the Nobel Committee awarded Liu the Prize "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China". The Norwegian Nobel Committee president Thorbjørn Jagland said the choice of Liu as the recipient of the prize had become clear early on in the process. The Chinese foreign ministry had already warned the Nobel committee not to give Liu the prize. They said that it would be against Nobel principles.
All news about the announcement of the award was immediately censored in China. Foreign news broadcasters including CNN and the BBC were immediately blocked after mentioning the award in China. Web searches for Liu Xiabo were immediately deleted and no information can be searched about him in China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement that said, "The Nobel Peace Prize is meant to award individuals who promote international harmony and friendship, peace and disarmament. Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law. Awarding the peace to Liu runs completely counter to the principle of the award and is also a desecration of the Peace Prize." The state-run Xinhua News Agency later carried a report saying that awarding Liu Xiaobo the prize “defiles” (亵渎) Alfred Nobel's purpose of creating this prize and "may harm China-Norway relations". The spokesperson added that Liu had broken Chinese law and his "actions run contrary to the purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize."
Responses from world leaders[change | change source]
Many world leaders congratulated Liu for the award. These included Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, The British Foreign Secretary William Hague, US President Barack Obama, and The Dalai Lama.
Official Chinese government response[change | change source]
The Chinese Foreign Ministry called the Norwegian ambassador to the People's Republic of China to the ministry on 8 October 2010. The Chinese gave the ambassador an official complaint against awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo. The Norwegian foreign minister replied that the Chinese government complaint was not needed because the group of people who decide the Nobel Prize is independent from the Norwegian government. However, the Norwegian Nobel Committee that gives the peace prize is appointed by the Norwegian parliament.
Major publications[change | change source]
- Critique on Choice - Dialogue with Le Zehou. 1987.
- Aesthetics and Human Freedom. 1988. Beijing Normal University Publishing.
- Myths on Metaphysics. 1989. Shanghai's People publishing.
- Naked to meet God. 1989. Times Literature and Art Publisher.
- Monologue:Survivors of Doomsday. 1993. Taiwan Times Publishing.
- Contemporary Politics and Intellectuals of China. 1990. Taiwan Tangshan Publishing.
- Selected Poems of Liu Xiabo and Liu Xia. 2000. Hong Kong Xiafeier International Publishing Ltd.
- Under pen name Lao Xia and co-authored with Wang Shuo (2000). A Belle Gave me Knockout Drug (Original title:《美人赠我蒙汗药》, by 长江文艺出版社). Changjiang Literature and Arts Publishing.
- To the Nation that Lies to His Conscience. 2002. Jieyou Publishing.
- The Future of Free China in our life. 2005. Labor Reform Foundation.
- A Single Blade and Toxic Sword: Critique on Contempory Chinese Nationalism. 2006. Boda Publishing.
- Sinking of Big Country: Memorandum to China. Oct 2009. Yunchen Culture publisher.
Awards[change | change source]
- Hellman-Hammett Grant (1990, 1996)
- China Foundation on Democracy Education (2003): Outstanding Democratic Activist
- Fondation de France Prize (2004): Award for Defending Freedom of Speech
- Hong Kong Human Rights Press Awards (2004, 2005, 2006)
- Homo Homini Award (2009)
- PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award (2009)
- Hermann Kesten Award (2010)
- Nobel Peace Prize (2010)
Personal life[change | change source]
He is married to Liu Xia, who lives in the couple's apartment in Beijing.
Health and death[change | change source]
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Liu Xiaobo (simplified Chinese: 刘晓波; traditional Chinese: 劉曉波)
- NobelPrize.org, "Liu Xiaobo"; retrieved 2012-9-17.
- Benjamin Kang Lim, China's top dissident arrested for subversion, Reuters, 24 June 2009.
- "刘晓波因涉嫌煽动颠覆国家政权罪被依法逮捕 Archived 2009-06-30 at the Wayback Machine" (Liu Xiaobo Formally Arrested on 'Suspicion of Inciting Subversion of State Power' Charges), China Review News, 24 June 2009.
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- Liu Xiaobo, "劉曉波：勞教 早該被廢除的惡法" (Reeducation-through-labor: An evil law which should be quickly repealed), Observe China, 6 December 2007.
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- "零八宪章签署者已过8600名，第十四批签名人正式名单" (Signatures to Charter 08 exceeds 8600, 14th list of signers attached), Boxun, 4 May 2009.
- "著名学者张祖桦、刘晓波'失踪,'" Boxun, 9 December 2008.
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- 中华人民共和国刑法 (Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China)
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- Cite error: The named reference
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- Original title:《选择的批判——与李泽厚对话》, published by 上海人民出版社
- Original title: 《审美与人的自由》, published by 北京師范大學出版社
- Original title:《形而上学的迷雾》, by 上海人民出版社
- Original title: 《赤身裸体，走向上帝》, 时代文艺出版社
- Original title:《末日幸存者的独白》, published by 台湾時報出版
- Original title:《中国当代政治与中国知识份子》, published by 台北唐山出版社
- 《刘晓波刘霞诗选》, published by 香港夏菲尔国际出版公司
- Original title: 《向良心说谎的民族》, published by 捷幼出版社
- Original title:《未来的自由中国在民间》, published by 劳改基金会
- Original title:《单刃毒剑——中国当代民族主义批判》, published by 博大出版社
- Original title:《大國沉淪——寫給中國的備忘錄》, published by 允晨文化
- One World Homo Homini award goes to Chinese dissident，2009年3月12日.
- "Liu Xiaobo". Dw-world.de. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
- Liu Xiaobo De-World, 7 October 2010.
- "Everything you need to know about human rights". www.amnesty.org.
- "China releases terminally ill Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo". The Hindu. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
- "Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo in 'critical condition'". www.aljazeera.com.
- Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "China's Nobel Peace Prize winning dissident Liu Xiaobo dies - DW - 13.07.2017". DW.COM.
Other websites[change | change source]
Media related to Liu Xiaobo at Wikimedia Commons
|Wikisource has original writing related to this article:|
- Freedom Now (International Lawyers Representing Liu Xiaobo)
- Free Liu Xiaobo now! Archived 2010-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
- English language articles and interviews
- Film Excerpts of Liu Xiaobo from The Gate of Heavenly Peace
- Interview with Liu Xiaobo (English and Chinese) by PEN American Center at YouTube
- The Poet in an Unknown Prison letter by Liu from The New York Review of Books
- 30 September 2009 floor debate in U.S. Congress on the Liu Xiaobo resolution at YouTube
- Unofficial English translation of Liu Xiaobo's 2009 criminal verdict Archived 2012-12-04 at Archive.today
- "Further Questions about Child Slavery in China's Kilns" Archived 2009-07-29 at the Wayback Machine - the Chinese court supporting Liu Xiaobo's subversion conviction
- Jailed Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo Awarded Nobel Peace Prize - video report by Democracy Now!