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Current Affairs

Liu Xiaobo

Date: 15 July 2020 Tags: Honours & Awards

Issue

Chinese Nobel laureate and dissident Liu Xiaobo died three years ago on July 13 at the age of 61 from complications arising out of liver cancer.

 

Background

He was arrested from his Beijing residence in 2009 for his involvement in drafting a document called ‘Charter 08’, which called for political reforms in China. Xiaobo was the first Nobel laureate since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky to die in state custody.

 

Details

  • Xiaobo a writer, activist, literary critic, and philosopher was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.

  • In 1989, Xiaobo left his position as a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York City to take part in the pro-democracy protests in China.

  • One of Xiaobo’s central demands from the Chinese authorities was the compliance of Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution, as per which, citizens have the right of freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, of procession and demonstration.

  • Xiaobo was arrested several times, the first in 1989 for supporting pro-democracy students during the Democracy Movement. He was jailed for 21 months.

  • Xiaobo was imprisoned again from 1996-99 for criticising China’s policies towards Taiwan and Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

  • His longest sentence of 11 years came in 2009 for his involvement in drafting Charter 08 that called for Chinese political reforms towards democracy. The document was fashioned after Charter 77.

  • On December 8, 2008, the Beijing police took away Xiaobo from his residence in Beijing, and was found guilty of “inciting subversion of state power” on December 25, 2009.