The Norwegian Helsinki Committee extends its congratulations to the 2010 Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo
(08/10-2010)- We hope that the Nobel Peace prize to Liu Xiaobo will contribute to improving the situation for him and other human rights defenders in China, says Bjørn Engesland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.
Awarding the Nobel peace Prize to the brave Chinese human rights defender Liu Xiaobo will strengthen focus on human rights in China. Liu is well known as an unwavering and unorthodox fighter for fundamental human rights in China. Chinese authorities have answered by persecuting him through imprisonment and denying him a professional career for the two last decades.
The Nobel Committee has made a brave decision, a decision in line with the spirit of the testament of Alfred Nobel. A Prize to the writer and human rights defender Liu Xiaobo highlights the fight for democracy at the Tiananmen Square in 1989 and the following fight for civil and political rights in China.
It is important to shed light on the serious and widespread human rights violations taking place in China.
Charter 08, initiated by Liu and others and signed by 303 Chinese intellectuals, propagates free elections, rule of law, freedom of religion and of association. The prize underscores how important human rights are as a basis for reconciliation and peace building efforts. Human rights defenders are working under difficult conditions and are under increasing pressure by authoritarian authorities in many corners of the world. By awarding the Nobel Peace prize to Liu Xiaobo the Nobel Committee encourages the brave human rights activists, first and foremost in China, but also elsewhere.
For more information:
Bjørn Engesland, Secretary general, Norwegian Helsinki Committee; ph +47 957 53 350
Berit Lindeman, Head of Information, Norwegian Helsinki Committee; ph +47 909 33 379