Activists hold solidarity rally with Chinese human rights defender Liu Xiaobo
On 6 March a meeting in solidarity with imprisoned Chinese human rights defender Liu Xiaobo was held in Kyiv. Outside the Chinese embassy participants created a huge picture of Liu Xiaobo out of many jigsaw pieces.
Honorary President of the Ukrainian branch of the International PEN Club Yevhen Sverstyuk comments on the idea of the protest: “Our age likes to substitute truth with success and the logic of established fact. Yet everybody understands that China’s economic success cannot wipe out the thousands of years of Chinese culture which affirmed entirely different values. Just as the imprisonment of the President of the Chinese PEN Club Liu Xiaobo cannot overshadow his name, but on the contrary makes this name still more sublime and bright”.
Such actions in support of Liu Xiaobo have been taking place during the first week of March throughout the world. They are part of an international campaign in support of Liu Xiaobo initiated by Front Line Defenders and PEN International.
Nazar Boyarsky, one of the organizers of the action in Ukraine:
“The Chinese authorities are carrying out political censorship with respect to Liu Xiaobo. You can’t talk about him, even Internet content where he’s mentioned is deleted. We wanted to show that despite this Ukrainians know about him. And we demand freedom for Liu Xiaobo, the only current prisoner who is a Nobel laureate.”
People taking part in the action around the world want to draw attention to the long imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo and his wife, and seek in this way his release and the release of other human rights and civic activists imprisoned in China.
The action was organized by the Centre for Civil Liberties and supported by the Social Action Centre; the Human Rights Information Centre and the Debate Academy.
Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese human rights defender and poet who in 2009 was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment for “undermining the State system”. This sentence was condemned by the EU, USA and the UN Human Rights Commissioner. In 2010 Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson called this move a bad mistake. Liu Xiaobo is the only recent Nobel laureate who was not only himself prevented from attending the prize-giving ceremony, but whose relatives were not allowed to accept it on his behalf.
More information about the international campaign can be found here http://www.lighthonestyhrd.org/
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