UN rights experts urge China to release Nobel prize winner

11th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Four UN human rights experts on Monday urged China to immediately free jailed Chinese Nobel Peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo along with other detainees held for exercising freedom of expression.

"For many years, we have expressed to the Government of the People's Republic of China concerns regarding violations of Liu Xiaobo's fundamental human rights," the experts said in a statement.

The statement said the experts "urged for his immediate release."

"On this occasion, we appeal to the Government of the People's Republic of China to release all persons detained for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression," they added.

Activists in China said on Monday that Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo had dedicated the award to victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

The 54-year-old writer, who was jailed for 11 years in December after authoring a bold petition calling for democratic reforms, was awarded the prize by the Oslo-based committee Friday, sparking a furious reaction from Beijing.

His wife, Liu Xia, was held under house arrest on Monday.

"Liu Xiaobo is a courageous human rights defender who has continuously and peacefully advocated for greater respect for human rights in the People's Republic of China. We welcome the recognition of his work," the UN experts said.

They urged China to ratify the world's main human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which has been ratified by 166 countries.

The experts were the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, the chairman of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, El Hadji Malick Sow, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, and the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul.

© 2010 AFP

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