悉尼笔会邦妮·卡西迪博士（Dr Bonny Cassidy）：+61-417 252 004，[email protected]，www.pen.org.au
独立中文笔会张裕博士：+46 8 500 22792，[email protected]，www.chinesepen.org
October 11, 2010
PEACEFUL DISSIDENT RECEIVES NOBEL PEACE PRIZE IN PRISON
PEN centres around the Asia Pacific region today call on the People’s Republic of China to release the writer and academic Liu Xiaobo, winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
Liu, currently serving an 11-year sentence in China, is a former president of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre and is an Honorary Member of Sydney PEN Centre. These and other centres in the region have campaigned for public awareness of his case, and for diplomatic action on his sentence, for the past year. He is one of more than 40 writers, journalists and intellectuals detained in Chinese prisons at present.
PEN centres including those in Sydney, Melbourne, the Philippines, Hong Kong and New Zealand support the recognition of the work and profile of this brave writer and academic at the highest international level, the Nobel Peace Prize. “Liu’s case is one of the better known of hundreds of such cases compiled to date by PEN. The Nobel Committee’s awarding of this Prize to him is a blaze of hope for Liu Xiaobo, his peers, and all of us working for freedom of expression,” said Sydney PEN president, Dr Bonny Cassidy.
In December 2008, Liu was a signatory to an open letter to the Chinese authorities calling on the National People’s Congress to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Liu was also instrumental in launching Charter 08 on 9 December 2008, a declaration calling for political reforms and human rights, which was initially signed by over 300 scholars, journalists, writers and activists. Charter 08 now has more than 10,000 signatories from throughout China and the Chinese community abroad.
“Liu is worthy of this Prize not only for his work on Charter 08, but also for his long history as a peaceful dissident, for his ongoing strength as a poet within prison, and for his role as a philosophical and moral compass for those who continue to encourage awareness of oppressed writers, editors and publishers – and of human rights more generally,” said Dr Cassidy.
“Liu Xiaobo is a man of extraordinary courage, who continues to pay a high price for his enduring commitment to freedom of expression and the written word,” remarked Melbourne PEN president, Arnold Zable.
Liu was arrested in December 2008 and detained until he was formally charged in June 2009 with ‘spreading rumours and defaming the government, aimed at subversion of the state and overthrowing the socialism system in recent years’. He was convicted and imprisoned for 11 years on 25 December 2009.
PEN will continue to campaign for his release, and for the release of those gaoled in China for the simple act of freely writing and reading.
PEN celebrates literature and promotes freedom of expression. Its global community of writers now spans more than 100 countries. PEN programmes, campaigns, events and publications connect writers and readers wherever they are in the world.
For further information (Sydney):
Dr Bonny Cassidy
0417 252 004