10/26/2010, 00.00
CHINA
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Liu Xia asks dissidents to accept award on her husband’s behalf

The wife of Liu Xiaobo, activist and co-author of pro-democracy Charter 08, calls on Chinese dissidents to go to Oslo to receive the prestigious prize on behalf of her husband who is purging an 11-year sentence. Liu’s brothers hope to meet the dissident in prison before the ceremony. Fifteen Nobel Prize winners call on Hu Jintao to free him.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Liu Xia, wife of jailed Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, has called on his friends to go to Norway on 10 December to accept the award on his behalf. Currently under house arrest without charges, she made her request in a letter circulating online.  “I believe that Xiaobo would definitely want his friends to attend this historic ceremony and share this honour,' she wrote.

The letter calls on more than 100 Chinese dissidents, lawyers and professors to collect the prize on his behalf, including Tiananmen Mothers leader Ding Zilin, Li Rui, Mao Zedong’s former secretary who recently signed an open letter to the Chinese government to abolish censorship, Bao Tong, a friend and a former secretary to late Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang, as well as Tibetan blogger Woeser and Charter 08 co-author Zhang Zuhua.

However, since all these people are under tight police control and might not be able to leave the country, Liu Xiaobo’s brothers might have to go to the award ceremony.

Concerned that police could limit their movement, they are planning to see their brother next month, hoping to discuss with him who should represent him at the Oslo event on 10 December.

In the meantime, international pressure for the dissident’s release is being stepped up. A group of 15 Nobel Prize laureates has written a letter to G20 leaders to get Beijing to free the jailed scholar.

Published by Freedom Now, the letter is signed among others by former US President Jimmy Carter, the Dalai Lama, former South African President Fredrik de Klerk and Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi.

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