December 6, 2010, Washington, DC. Former political prisoner and Laogai Research Foundation Founder and Executive Director Harry Wu will travel to Oslo this Thursday to attend the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in honor of imprisoned winner Liu Xiaobo. Mr. Liu remains in custody in Jinzhou Prison, Liaoning Province, and will not be released to attend the ceremony. His wife, Liu Xia, remains under house arrest along with scores of other dissidents in Beijing.
Mr. Wu said of his attendance, “I will attend the Nobel ceremony to uphold the dignity and honor of all Chinese people. I will attend for those who cannot.” Laogai Research Foundation has previously joined the call to release Liu Xiaobo, the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel Prize, immediately. He added, “the awarding of the Nobel Prize has heartened and encouraged Liu’s fellow dissidents, and all of us who are fighting for a free and democratic China.”
Of Liu Xiaobo, he said, “I have come to respect Liu Xiaobo as a fiercely intelligent and independent thinker, and believe he is incredibly deserving of the Nobel Prize.” Since 2002, Liu Xiaobo has published more than 243 articles on Laogai Research Foundation’s online Chinese-language magazine, Observe China, which receives 15-20,000 hits per week from inside China. LRF also published Liu Xiaobo’s 2005 book, Civil Awakenings, the second edition of which will be released this week. The proceeds will be collected in a trust fund for Mr. Liu and his wife. A quote from Civil Awakenings encapsulates Mr. Liu’s vision for China, “with the collapse of the Communist totalitarianism, the route of human development becomes clearer than ever: personal freedom is the highest value and constitutional democracy is the best among social systems. China’s own reform cannot escape this path.”
Mr. Wu added, “the Nobel Prize represents a nod to a more optimistic future for China, one free from the tyranny and authoritarianism that has characterized the last sixty years of Chinese Communist Party rule. As Mr. Liu himself has said, China should and will move away from a society where words are viewed as crimes.”
Mr. Wu will participate in a press conference with members of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and representatives from other human rights groups on Tuesday, December 7 at 10am in Rayburn House Office Building 2255, before making his way to Oslo.
Grateful appreciation to LRF for this Press Release