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article imageBiden asked to make case for jailed Chinese dissident

By Justin King     Dec 4, 2013 in World
Beijing - Human Rights Watch has requested Vice President Joe Biden raise the issue of Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia during his next trip to China. Xiaobo is a Noble Prize recipient imprisoned on charges of “inciting subversion of state power.”
Xiaobo’s charges stem directly from him co-authoring "Charter ’08," a document published in 2008 that advocated a series of reforms in China. The document has been suppressed, but Reporters without Borders has made an English translation of the document available here. The document copies its title and style from the "Charter ’77" issued by Czechoslovakian dissidents in protest of the Soviet Union.
Xiaobo, sometimes referred to as “China’s Mandela,” is a seasoned activist and took part in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests that were brutally crushed by the Chinese army. Xiaobo spent 20 months in prison for his involvement. For his current crime of advocating that the Chinese government abide by its own Constitution, he was sentenced in 2009 to 11 years in the notorious Jinzhou Prison, where inmates are reportedly ordered to torture each other and sleep deprivation is common. His trial lasted only two hours, and he was not allowed to present any evidence.
After being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, his wife was placed under house arrest. She is completely isolated from the outside world with no access to internet, phone, or postal mail. She has not been allowed to read letters from her imprisoned husband, and guards are stationed outside her home at all times. She recently made a request to see a doctor and read her husband’s letters.
Human Rights Watch brings all of these issues up in the letter to the Vice President. The letter closes with this plea
Please continue to raise Liu Xiaobo’s case at every available opportunity, and demand that authorities end all forms of repression and intimidation of his family, including freeing Liu Xia from extralegal house arrest.
Last month, a plea for a retrial was filed on the imprisoned activist’s behalf by his wife. Due to heavy internet censorship and state run news agencies, many in China are not even aware of the case involving one of their most well-known peace activists.
More about China, Dissident, Liu xiaobo, Liu xia, Nobel peace prize
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