12/10/2013, 00.00
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Washington to Beijing : Free Liu Xiaobo , guarantee human rights

On the fifth anniversary of the arrest of the activist and Nobel Laureate , the U.S. Secretary of State urges China to release him, his wife ( under house arrest without charge since 2010 ) and all other activists "who have only exercised their freedom of expression."

Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies ) - The U.S. government "is very concerned" about the detention of Liu Xiaobo and all other activists "who were only peacefully exercising their universal right to freedom of expression." For this reason, Washington urges China "to release Mr. Liu and his wife Liu Xia , and all others", writes US Secretary of State John Kerry in an official document released today , on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the arrest of Liu Xiaobo on charges of "subversion" .

Liu, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, was arrested on the night of the 8th and 9th of December 2008, immediately after the first draft of its manifesto for democracy was published online, and sentenced to 11 years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power "after he helped in the drafting of Charter 08 and published several articles about democracy online. His wife is under forced house arrest with no conviction and often denied the right to visit her husband.

Liu Xiaobo is one of the most enlightened minds of contemporary China. When he was nominated for the Nobel prize, Liu had already been in prison for two years (since December 2008) . At the ceremony to receive the award, December 10, 2010 , there was an empty chair . The Chinese government had warned dissidents and friends of the Liu family, against going to Oslo , refusing to issue passports and promising economic reprisals on Norway .

In the document, the U.S. State Department states: " We are deeply concerned by this situation. We strongly urge Chinese authorities to release Liu Xiaobo, to end Liu Xia's house arrest, and to guarantee to Liu Xiaobo and his family members all internationally recognised human rights protections and freedoms. We continue to believe that respect for international human rights is critical to China's growth, prosperity, and long-term stability. "


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