Nobel Institute concerned for Xiaobo amidst increasing censorship / News / The Foreigner

Nobel Institute concerned for Xiaobo amidst increasing censorship. Nobel Institute Director Geir Lundestad says he is extremely anxious about the fate of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. “It is unsettling and we are, of course, worried,” he tells Aftenposten.Relentless Censure by Chinese authorities has increased dramatically in recent times, according to organization Chinese Human Rights. Lawyers such as Teng Biao, Kiang Tianyong, and Tang Jitian have disappeared without a trace.

liuxiaobo, liuxia, nobelinstitute, nobelpeaceprize, geirlundestad



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Nobel Institute concerned for Xiaobo amidst increasing censorship

Published on Friday, 25th March, 2011 at 11:56 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Nobel Institute Director Geir Lundestad says he is extremely anxious about the fate of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

Liu Xiaobo
Liu Xiaobo
Photo: Voice of America/Wikimedia Commons


“It is unsettling and we are, of course, worried,” he tells Aftenposten.

Relentless

Censure by Chinese authorities has increased dramatically in recent times, according to organization Chinese Human Rights. Lawyers such as Teng Biao, Kiang Tianyong, and Tang Jitian have disappeared without a trace.

It has been many years since human rights activists have experienced such a harsh campaign. Several dissidents and sources claim authorities are worried over possible future Middle Eastern-inspired demonstrations.

“There is a sense that the authorities want to put an end to the kind of open defiance of the government by rights activists, people who have been fairly active on Twitter and other social networks who were allowed for a couple of years to do that,” Nicholas Bequelin, senior Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, is reported as saying.

Muzzled

Today, the Suining Intermediate People's Court in the southwestern province of Sichuan sentenced leading activist Liu Xianbin to 10 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power,” his wife, Chen Mingxian, tells Reuters by phone.

This is second-longest prison term handed down since Liu Xiaobo was jailed for 11 years in 2009. The trial lasted just two hours.

“At the end, Liu Xianbin wanted to make his closing statement, but the judge did not give him the opportunity to be heard,"

According to his wife, court officials confiscated his statement of self-defence, and the only words he uttered were “I have no guilt. I protest."

43-year-old Mr Xianbin, one of the protestors involved in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing was in custody for over eight months preceeding the trial, and Chinese authorities have earlier put him in prison between 1991 and 1995.

Disturbed

Meanwhile, Mr Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest and barred from visiting him since the dissident was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last October.

Nothing further has been heard from her since her message, sent via a friend in February that read, “I am crying. Nobody can help me,” reports Aftenposten.

Whilst the laureate may still be behind bars in the northeastern province of Liaoning, the Nobel Institute institute’s sources in China confirm there has been no sign of life.

“We don’t know where he is or have any other information about him,” says Geir Lundestad.




Published on Friday, 25th March, 2011 at 11:56 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: liuxiaobo, liuxia, nobelinstitute, nobelpeaceprize, geirlundestad.





  
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