Mild-mannered university professor, poet, and Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo, has passed away from liver cancer. He was also the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”. Serving an 11 year prison sentence for “subversion”, even facing death, he was kept locked away in a hospital under the watchful eyes of guards. Mr. Liu was a human rights defender and was repeatedly incarcerated throughout his life for his passionate beliefs. Even when he wasn’t in prison, he was kept under the most severe restrictions and surveillance. After the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square student protest, ended in bloodshed and tragedy, Liu and other activists successfully negotiated the safe passage of hundreds of demonstrators saving their lives. This last prison term was in response to his participation in the creation of the Charter 08 Manifesto, which called for multi-party democracy in China. His wife, Liu Xia remains under house arrest.
Free expression is the base of human rights, the root of human nature and the mother of truth. To kill free speech is to insult human rights, to stifle human nature and to suppress the truth.
~ Liu Xiaobo ~